GDN Supports a Ban on Single Use Plastic Bags

Tip of the Week: Which Plastic Bags Can I Recycle and Where?

So. Many. Questions. About Bags. But they are all good! Here are a few:

  • Which type of bag is okay in the green recycling cart (answer: NONE)
  • What stuff is good to take back to the grocery store collection bin? (answer: more than you think – see the list here)
  • How about bubble wrap? (answer: put it with plastic bags and take to grocery/retail drop-off)
  • What about putting recyclables into those blue tinted plastic bags that are marketed for that purpose? (answer, unless you live in the North End, South End or Beacon Hill in Boston, your bagged recyclables will end up in the trash)

The takeaway: NO plastic bags or plastic wrap in the green recycling cart (no matter the type, number, color, etc.). They should be taken back to grocery stores or retail locations that take them. Bags, plastic film, and stuff in bags are the #1 contaminant at the recycling facility (aka MRF). They get caught in machinery and force the MRFs to stop operations to cut them off the equipment – which puts workers at risk of injury. How do plastic bags actually get recycled? Watch our webinar: Mystery Revealed: The Story of Plastic Bag Recycling. Extra, extra credit: Read “It’s in the Bag” in our newsletter archive.

Plastic Film Recycling Guide