How to Recycle Bags (Plastic) the Right Way

Plastic. If ever the earth had an arch-enemy, it would be plastic (and the people who make it). Sadly, though, it’s next to impossible to live without it. We use it every day of our lives. 

One of the most used plastic products on earth is the plastic bag. Research shows that 10 billion plastic bags are used in America each year.

And that’s why we need to know how to recycle bags – the right way.

Wait, does that mean plastic bags have a different way of being recycled? Yes. Plastic bags can’t just be mixed with all your recyclable trash.

How to Recycle Bags (Plastic) the Right Way

The Importance of Recycling Bags

A lot of emphases is placed on the importance of disposing of plastic bags properly, and that for good reason. Here are a few of those:

  • Plastic is not biodegradable. If not disposed of properly, plastic can be in the environment for thousands of years in the same form. 
  • Plastic is harmful to animals. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to pollution, plastic is responsible for the injury and death of wildlife and marine animals.
  • Recycling plastic reduces the demand for oil. Plastic is a product of oil. Therefore recycling means less oil is needed to produce more plastic bags.

As you can see, plastic is not as simple as it looks. It needs special handling to ensure that it is properly disposed.

So how should you treat plastic bags?

Plastic – How to Recycle Bags Properly

Bags need special sorting. That’s because there are special machines responsible for recycling plastic bags. Unfortunately, not every recycling plant has them. Treating plastic bags like all your other recyclables can lead to disaster at the recycling plant as plastic can get caught up in the gears of the conveyor belt and other parts of the equipment.

So, how should you recycle bags?

  1. Find Out Your States Stance on Plastic

In some areas, plastic can be mixed with other recyclables, while other places don’t. So make sure to investigate and find out the rules regarding plastic bags in your location.  You can also check with your local trash pickup service.

  1. Make Sure Your Bag is Empty

Time-consuming as it may seem, it’s advisable to always check to make sure your plastic bags are empty before disposing of them. Check for receipts, crumbs, moisture, or anything that may be hiding in there. Doing so prevents the plastics from being contaminated.

  1. Have a Dedicated Bag Collection Bin

Due to its complex nature, you must keep a plastic bag collection bin in your house. Thankfully, since plastic compacts easily, you can fit a lot of plastic bags in one garbage bag. A dedicated garbage bag will make it easier for you and the recycling center.

Make sure to look for #2 or #4 plastic symbol printed on the plastic bags. This tells you what type of plastic resin in in the bags.

  1. Get Professional Help

If all this sounds like a lot of work and you don’t have the time to give it, then enlist the help of a trash pickup service. Recycling bags is not as simple as it sounds. For one thing, the different dyes used in coloring the plastic bags make it difficult to convert the plastic into other useful products.

If you’ve got a lot of plastic bags lying around, make sure to dispose of them quickly as it’s easy for plastic to get loose and wreak havoc to the environment.

How to Recycle Bags (Plastic) the Right Way

What Happens When You Recycle Bags?

When you recycle bags, they are chipped into small pellets which can then be used to make new bags. This is where the issue of colored plastic bags complicates the process as the dyes used can cause discoloration in the new bags. For this reason, certain colors, especially black bags, don’t get recycled. 

Another use for recycled plastic bags is that of plastic lumber, a popular material for outdoor decking. However, the uses of recycled plastic are too numerous to mention. The bottom line is – you must take recycling seriously.

Need Help with Your Bags?

Who picks up my trash?” if that’s a question you’re asking yourself, then you’d best get a new service provider. 

With US Junk Trash, you’ll notice the difference. Oh, and you’ll sleep better too knowing that a trash pickup service that cares for you and the planet is on the job. Go ahead and get in touch