So… what happens to your “other” plastic bags?

If you’re like me, you never shop without first being armed with your own reusable bags I never take plastic bags… yes, I mean never… well, almost never!

There abrd bg plasticre times when we’re forced to take plastic bags… not the kind that hold our purchases, but the kind that hold the food and products we buy.  I’m talking about bread bags, the plastic wrappers on our toilet paper and paper towels, the bags holding packaged produce, and even the plastic bags around the newspaper on our doorstep (I wish our newspaper-guy would stop doing that on sunny days!).

So, what do YOU do with those bags? While most curbside recycling doesn’t take them (ours doesn’t either), they ARE recyclable… and you don’t need curbside recycling to make it happen.

Now here’s the answer… you may have found yourself ignoring the plastic bag collection containers in your local grocery store or major retailers.  You might also assume that they’re only for the bags that come from the store… well, surprise!  THAT is the answer!plst bg bin

You can actually collect all of these extra bags and wraps at home and deposit them in this receptacle.  Most are made of the same materials as the grocery or retail bags – either high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – so they can easily be added to this batch of recycle-bound bags!

The next time you have one of these bags or wrappers destine for the trash can, turn it into your collection bag…  stuff all the others inside and take them on a little trip to one of these bag bins.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly they accumulate and you’ll feel much better when they DON’T go into the trash!

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10 thoughts on “So… what happens to your “other” plastic bags?

  1. Lynn- my understand is that they’re a bit trickier… they need to be dry, and free and clear of food (sometimes difficult to do)… I just didn’t include them because I’m an advocate of always avoiding ziplocs! 🙂 I also believe, if they include a “zipper”, that part should be removed first.

  2. I agree with avoiding them. However, years ago, before we got into green, we bought one of those huge boxes from Costco. We do use them and use them and use them. I wash them a lot, but eventually they are ready to go and I’ve been putting them in the trash (and believe me, feeling as guilty as heck). So I’ll check into this farther. Cleaning and drying is no problem and if they can be recycled by cutting off the zipper part, that’s great news. Thank you.

  3. We purchased some fine mesh bags with drawstrings to put our produce in at the grocery store. They weigh a little as the plastic variety and can be washed in the sink when we get home. I got mine online at the Mother Earth News website, but I have seen them a few other places as well. Just one more thing we try to do to keep those guilty feelings away.

  4. Aloha
    I also have a suggestion, if you or a friend is a smoker, ziplock bags are great for avoiding leaving toxic cigarette ends behind, that take up to 12 years to decompose, leaving dangers to be ingested by children, wildlife, waterways and vegetation, killing and contaminating.
    40 years ago I helped a mother remove a toxic butt from her 1 and 1/2 year old daughter, both very scared and the little girl became quite ill, most, if not all the poison, is in the cellulose acetate filter, sense then I have assisted 4 mothers on the beach with their babies choking, 3 on a toxic cigarette end and 1 with a bottler cap lodged in his throat, ziplock bags could save our voiceless, children, wildlife, waterways also our vegetation, people have been mislead by the movies, most if not all, shows movie stars flicking their cigarettes everywhere and we are stuck with a monkey see, monkey do effect.
    If you happen to be a smoker and still leave behind your killer butts please stop and advise your friends, if you don’t flick or don’t smoke, Please clue in others of the dangers, Mahalo Nui Loa
    We all need to re-educate smokers that still flick. Cigarettes and bottle caps are the most littered item there is
    With Aloha KOTO Keeper Of The Ocean, Mele Kalikmaka and Haole Makahiki hou
    .-= Gerry aka KOTO´s last blog ..A Message from The Pollution Solution Group =-.

  5. Thanks for the tip. I never thought about bringing these types of bags back to the recycling containers at the grocery store. I guess you just need to be careful that the bags are of the same type material so you don’t contaminate the waste stream. I ususally save these bags for my neighbor’s dog waste.

  6. Jen – I use mesh bags for my produce too! 🙂 Problem is, my organic potatoes and apples come in PLASTIC bags! But these always find their way back to the bag recycling at the grocery store!

    Gerry – thanks for making a good additional point!

    Caren – you’re welcome! 🙂 And yes, the types of bags I mentioned should be able to be added without problems.

  7. Aloha

    My pleasure, anything we can all do to start the healing of our beautiful home (Earth) is a plus, I only wish that more parents instilled the importance of what storm drains are for, and how plastic kills so many things, I show children, that putting a plastic bag over ones head, stops them from breathing, and will kill them, the same happens when plastic covers our ground or ocean floor, plus many mistake, plastic for food, (Jellyfish) Turtles, Fish, Dolphins, Seals, Otters, Whales, Birds the list goes on, they also either choke to death or their stomach becomes blocked and again starving to death, Plastic, Styrofoam, Camera Batteries, Cigarette Butts, Disposable Lighters and always the Toxic Cigarette Butts and as I mentioned above a “Big Risk” for our Babies.
    I have heard that Japan has found a way to bring plastic back to oil and are making a small unit that will be sold to homes and people can start making their own fuel, it will also work with bottle caps, I only pray that it is either affordable or people will collect and sell.
    There just might be enough time left to help Mother Nature, Education, Education, Education…
    .-= Gerry aka KOTO´s last blog ..A Message from The Pollution Solution Group =-.

  8. Pingback: » Reuse, recycle or…. just GIVE IT BACK! - Mom Goes Green

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