Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Recycling & Solid Waste newsletter; July 11, 2019
We've all been there - you have a bread bag or grocery bag in your hand and wonder if it can be recycled. The truth is, what we decide to do with these plastics, otherwise known as film plastics, influences recycling programs on a global scale. You as the consumer play a very important first step in the recycling process.
Examples of film plastics include:
Although recyclable, film plastics cannot go in your household recycling bin with bottles, cans, jars, and jugs. The flexible lightweight film plastics cause dangerous machinery jams at sorting facilities that are designed to sort containers. Film plastics require their own special recycling programs.
In NY, stores that meet certain criteria are required by law to provide film plastic recycling under the Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act. Recycling your film plastics in many cases is as easy as bringing them back to the grocery store to special drop-off bins for recycling. Find a drop location near you!
When bringing film plastics to retail drop-off locations be sure they are:
When you properly recycle your film plastics at a return to retail drop off location, they can be recycled into composite lumber for making decks, benches, and playground sets. Film plastics can also be reprocessed into small pellets, which can be made into pallets, containers, crates, and pipe. Recycling film plastics converses natural resources, keeps our streets and waterways clean, and protects wildlife.
Last updated October 16, 2020