Unfortunately, plastic bags cannot be recycled in your blue or yellow recycling bins. In fact, bags that make in the bins can damage the SWA's recycling equipment and waste your taxpayer dollars. In 2014, it is 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.
Reuse A recent survey sited by the Society of the Plastics Industries, Inc. said that that over 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 the SWA cannot recycle plastic grocery bags, many local grocers will take them back.
Replace the plastic bags in your life with reusable cloth grocery totes. Or, instead of the standard sandwich baggie, try a sturdy plastic container. The fewer plastic bags you use, the better for 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 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.