Why it’s so important to recycle soft plastic

July 23, 2012

Soft plastic: one of the few products that is truly, completely recyclable

Recycling is a good thing to do.  But it surprises most people to learn that most of what we put into our recycling bins is not actually recycled, it’s downcycled: that means it’s turned into products of lesser quality or reduced functionality.  (Example: water bottles are downcycled into carpet, not recycled into new water bottles.)

Not so for soft plastic – it can be truly, completely recycled.  As long as it’s clean, it can be remanufactured into identical products over and over.

So what’s ‘soft plastic’?

  • Grocery and shopping bags
  • Bread bags
  • Milk bags, including the inner bags (as long as they are clean)
  • Anything identified with the recycling logo and “LDPE” or the number 4
  • Most non-crinkly plastic, as long as it’s clean

(Note: cling wrap used on food products is not recyclable; but stretch wrap used in warehouses for pallets is)

Plastic is made from petroleum, so every bit recycled means less oil consumed.  Please do your part, and recycle all your soft plastic.


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