Recycling Plastic Bags

Recycling plastic bags, going green, and finding ways to help the environment are popular concepts today. Sustainability continues to make an impact on our culture as well as our daily lives.  One way many people are doing their part in saving the environment is by recycling plastic bags.

Plastic bags are recyclable, though they are not recycled using traditional recycling methods. Bags require special processing and sorting machines and not every recycling plant has them. Store owners, retailers and customers alike can reuse and/or recycle their plastic bags. When recycling bags, scrap materials are reused to create a resin that is then made into bags again.

Most plastic bags are constructed from high-density polyethylene but thinner material bags, such as produce bags, made from low-density polyethylene are also recyclable. Recycling collection systems are widely available, mostly through collection bins at local grocery stores.

Recycling Bins

To prepare your plastic bags for recycling, simply remove anything from the inside of the bags, such as receipts, stickers, or crumbs. Keeping a designated bag collection bin will also simplify matters. Plastic bags are recyclable in Toronto as long as they do not have organic material in them, as these contaminate the bags, making them not recyclable.

Although plastic bags are convenient to use and reuse, they also help the environment by using 70% less energy to manufacture and 96% less water than the manufacture of paper bags. In disposals, plastic bags take up to 9.3% less space in landfills than other bags.

Large grocery retailers may also be accepting plastic bags for recycling. Some have a large receptacle for disposing of used plastic bags. Once disposed of plastic bags are then transported to designated bag-recycling facilities. There, the plastic bags are melted down and turned into pellets that are used to make something new, such as resin.

Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Biodegradable plastic bags do not degrade quickly, and many find that they pollute water and soil over time. Nevertheless, biodegradable plastic bags are becoming readily available in the market. Biodegradable plastic bags are not cost-effective when considering traditional plastic bag options, as they often have more chemicals in them than regular plastic.

There are many ways to recycle plastic bags. Doing so ensures we do not expend our planet’s natural resources. More importantly, recycled plastic can be turned into resin, which continues the recycling process indefinitely.

Woman Holding Sign With Recycle Symbol - Recycling Plastic Bags is One Way to Help the Environment

Advantages of
Recycling Plastic Bags 

Many businesses seek recycled resin products to help keep manufacturing costs down and to supply the customer with a more cost-effective solution. Recycled plastic bags are more cost-effective than paper, saving our trees in the process.

Paper bags require 2.2 times more energy and 4.7 times more water to manufacture than plastic bags. Paper bags are nine times heavier which means they require more energy for transportation. While plastic bags serve as a marketing tool, they can also be reused, are more efficient in protecting items from moisture, and are recyclable. Recycling a ton of plastic bags or about 450,000 bags saves 11 barrels of oil.


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