Recycling Plastic Bags and Wraps

By Ingrid Poppell - Ingridp@landings.org
Facilities Manager

One of the most widely asked question these days at The Landings Association’s Recycling Center is, “Why can’t we put our plastic bags and wraps into the plastics compactor?”

The facility that sorts plastics from The Landings’ Recycling Center is not equipped to handle plastics of any kind (wraps or bags of any size are strictly prohibited). The facility works predominantly with rigid/hard materials that are easy to separate using machinery. This machinery has a large roller conveyor belt that moves the plastics through, causing the bags/wraps to shred. If bags/wraps are placed in this machine, they wrap around the rollers, jamming the machine. This adds to the manual labor costs of recycling, ultimately making the load too expensive to recycle.

Non-recyclable plastic wraps include any wraps or bags that can be torn like paper and may have contained frozen food, pre-washed salad mix bags, and bags labeled as degradable. Any plastic wrap, bag, or film that is dirty or wet also should not be recycled.

Please don’t recycle items you are unsure about. Bags and wraps with food particles or excess moisture, or those labeled compostable or biodegradable, can hinder the recycling process and prevent the reuse of entire loads of recovered bags and wrap.

Did you know that all the plastics not accepted for recycling at the Recycling Center are accepted at some local stores including Publix, Walmart, Food Lion Supermarkets, Lowes, Target, and Whole Foods Market? That’s right; you can drop clean and dry, plastic bags/wraps in the storefront recycling bins found at these locations. Please call with questions or to verify acceptable materials before visiting any drop-off location. For more information, visit plasticfilmrecycling.org.