Plagued by Plastic: Stop the overflow of plastic bags with these tips
If you are like most people, you have a stash of plastic grocery bags stuffed onto a shelf or in a cabinet somewhere in your house, and it is overflowing. Sometimes, we keep these bags because we plan to reuse them. Often, though, we keep them because we know that they are bad for the environment, and we aren’t sure how to dispose of them properly.
So, what can you do about it? Make sure you’re recycling correctly. It’s easy when you know what to do.
Which soft plastic doesn’t belong in your at-home recycle bin?
Here’s a good test: if the plastic can be wrapped around your finger, don’t put it in the recycling container. Instead, recycle soft plastic at retail stores such as Fry’s, Target, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Bashas’, and Lowe’s.
Plastic grocery bags are the most common example of soft plastics that can be recycled, but there are many others. Other items that may be accepted at drop-off stations along with plastic bags include:
- Retail, carry-out, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry-cleaning bags (clean, dry, and free of receipts and clothes hangers).
- Zip-top food-storage bags (clean and dry).
- Plastic shipping envelopes with labels removed, and deflated bubble wrap and air pillows.
- Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers, and female sanitary products.
- Furniture wrap and electronic wrap.
- Plastic cereal-box liners (unless it tears like paper).
Of course, another option is to utilize reusable bags when grocery shopping. Even if you start by using them once a month, you are putting a dent in the problem.