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Feb 22, 2020 | Contamination

Recycling is easy if you do it right.

We see a lot of people who mean well and want to recycle right! Often times, we engage recyclers at our public drop offs who are shocked to hear that plastic bags are incredibly problematic.

Plastic bags in our problematic and here is why:

1) Plastic bags (grocery bags, garbage bags, etc.) are not paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs, metal cans, or glass bottles and jars. OBVIOUSLY! So why would you put other materials in the bins?

2) Plastic bags are a form of plastic film. Most are made of a material called polyethylene, which is manufactured from natural gas and crude oil refining.

3) Plastic bags cause significant problems in recycling sorting facilities known as Material Recovery Facilities (MRF). These bags get caught inside the machines, requiring the system to be shut down to be removed. Companies must have their employees remove the plastic bags from the inside of the machines. This places lives at risk. Is it really worth that?

4) Plastic bags are not biodegradable. Our efforts are to recover materials that can actually be recycled. The only materials that are recyclable are what’s on the labels.

For more information on why plastic bags or plastic in general is not good for you or the environment, check out these links below:




Be sure to check out our other blogs below…


  1. Jack Lewis

    What should we do with all the plastic bags that we bring home from stores? I used to take them to Walmart but they removed the recycle box for that. Someone must recycle those otherwise why would Walmart and some other stores take them. Why can’t you put one bin behind Buehler’s in New Philadelphia just for plastic bags. I hate to throw them out with the trash. Again, what should consumers do with all the plastic bags they accumulate from daily life?

    • Steve Tharp

      Hello. I know that it is not ideal. Plastic bags are just not recyclable. We are unable to place a bin out because we have no way to collect them and no where to send them for recycling. We have never been able to nail down what any grocery store does with their plastic bags they collect. That being said, for right now, it’s best to throw them away in the trash. The other way to avoid using plastics is to buy reusable bags. No plastic bags in that solution!

  2. Ed Nettleton

    So, I am interested in learning what to do with my “mountain of plastic bags?” Your magazine nor website is specific regarding these.

    Also, what to do with expired children’s car seats & mattresses???

    Thanks & look forward to your timely response.

    • Steve Tharp

      Ed, great questions and I am probably going to disappoint with my answers. Plastic bags are not recyclable in our bins. We recommend throwing them away in the trash. However, some grocery stores collect them but we are not sure what they do with them. Children’s car seats and mattresses all belong in the trash. There is no recycling of either material. Sorry about the less than positive responses.


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