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Can You Recycle Plastic Bags?

Plastic bags can be recycled but only if the right methods are approached and adhered to strictly. This is because bags made of polyethylene material aren’t recycled the same way as other plastic recyclable materials are. Hence, adhering to the protocols laid out by your local waste management facility is of the essence.

Regardless of how often you may reuse your poly bags, it always seems like they only accumulate with time. The reason being, you get these bags every time you go out for grocery shopping, get some takeout on the way home, or when you run to the gas station.

Whichever your case might be, poly bags will, in some way, find their way into your home. So, to help you learn how best to recycle and dispose of your paper bags, I decided to do some more research on the topic.

And here are my findings on recycling polyethylene bags.

How to Recycle Plastic Bags the Right Way

a pile of plastic bags

One big mistake that most of us make is mixing grocery shopping bags with cans and bottles in the same recycling bin. This combination can be disastrous to your local recycling facility or any other recycling facility for that matter.

Yes, plastic bags can be recycled just as earlier explained. However, I also mentioned that this needs to happen through the right channels. Unlike other recyclables, polyethylene bags require to go through a unique sorting and processing machine. However, not all recycling plants have these special machines for recycling plastic bags.

Without these machines, plastic bags have the potential to jam up the gears of the conveyor belt and damage the regular recycling machine. The worst part is that the waste management workers have to remove the tangled plastic bags by hand before compiling them to be sent to a landfill.

That said, here are some dos and don’ts when disposing of your household poly bags.

READ ALSO: Do Vacuum Storage Bags Really Work?

The Dos of Recycling Plastic Bags

1. Take unwanted plastic bags to your local drop-off locations to facilitate proper recycling. If you are clueless about the drop-off locations, you can always reach out to your local waste management company for assistance on this issue.

2. Ensure that you maximize the reuse of these shopping bags in your household. You can use these bags as packing materials or as trash can liners.

3. Like pointed out earlier, reach out to your local waste management facility for better assistance on dealing with unwanted poly bags in your home.

The Don’ts of Recycling Plastic Bags

1. Avoid mixing unwanted poly bags in the same recycling bins with cans, plastic bottles, or any other regular recycling bin.

2. Don’t bag other recyclables in a poly bag.

3. Ensure you don’t dispose of dirty paper bags with food remnants in your regular recycling bin.

Final Thoughts

Proper disposal of plastic bags is highly essential for the environment and our existence in general. That’s why all of us need to champion better waste management practices in our spaces.

With the pandemic on our tails, hygiene is one of our biggest weapons and it begins right in your household. In case you are ever in doubt about the process of recycling and disposing of unwanted poly bags, always consult your local waste management company for assistance.

With their help, you’ll know what they can and can’t handle, in terms of waste management. Fortunately, there’s always a solution to your query with the best channel to help you make the world a better, cleaner place.