Plastic bags should never go into your blue or yellow recycling bins. Bags that make it into the bins can damage the Authority's recycling equipment and waste your taxpayer dollars. In 2014, it's estimated that 14,000,000 (Yes, 14 MILLION!) plastic bags went through our recycling facility. Please keep ALL bags (garbage bags, sandwich bags, shopping bags) out of the recycling bins.
The most effective method of thwarting plastic bag waste is to avoid using them at all.
Replace the plastic bags in your life with reusable cloth grocery totes. Or, instead of the standard sandwich baggie, try a sturdy plastic or glass container. Bring containers and reusable bags out to eat with you so you can reduce your packaging waste by using these for your leftover food.
A recent survey sited by the Society of the Plastics Industries, Inc. said that that more than 90% of Americans reuse their plastic bags.
There are several uses for your plastic sack stockpile. Many use plastic grocery bags as liners for small trash cans, for kitty litter disposal and to pick up puppy poo.
While plastic grocery bags never go into the blue or yellow recycling bins, they can be dropped off at any SWA Home Chemical & Recycling Center. Many local grocers will also take them back.
The fewer plastic bags you use, the better for conserving our natural resources and our recycling processes!
What's in Your Bag?
Most plastic bags are made of polyethylene, which is a product of natural gas and petroleum. The traditional plastic bags at the grocery checkout are made from #2 plastic, high-density polyethylene or HDPE. Plastic #4, low-density polyethylene or LDPE, is used to make the stronger plastic bags used by retail stores.
These plastic bags are tough. They take centuries to decompose and, when placed in a sealed landfill, might never break down.