Where to Take Plastic Bags in 2020

The Plastic Bag Problem

Plastic bags and wrap have long been a problem at recycling facilities. Due to the lightweight, flexible nature of plastic bags and wrap, this type of material is difficult to separate from other recyclables, rendering other types of recyclable material less valuable to manufacturers.

Another problem they pose is to the sorting machinery. Plastic bags and wrap get stuck in the machinery gears and need to be manually removed each day, sometimes multiple times a day. Kevin Kelly, general manager of Recology King County, recently told the Seattle Times, “Once our shift is over, we put people in harnesses and they go in with pretty heavy equipment. They have to cut all these bags off screens.”

The Proactive Solution

Instead of putting plastic bags and wrap in your recycling cart, please check with your local grocery store to see if they offer a take-back program. Many stores have such programs and offer easy drop off near the check-out counter. You can also visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/ to research drop-off locations.

But don’t forget about the first two R’s in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” motto, which are arguably the most important and effective to curb waste. Using your own reusable bags again and again is the best solution to reduce and perhaps even eliminate your need for plastic bags in the first place. Reusethisbag.com estimates that one person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment!

Have questions about disposal options in your community? Contact us!