How to Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic Bags

  • Plastic bags


The type of plastic the bag is made from should be printed somewhere on the bag. Often plastic bags that are used for bread and other products are made from Type 2 and Type 4 plastic, but are not marked. They can usually be recycled with plastic grocery store bags unless they have the numeral 7 on them, which means they are definitely not recyclable.

How to Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags. Plastic grocery bags Type 2 (high-density polyethylene film - HDPE) and Type 4 (low density or linear-low density polyethylene film - LDPE/LLDPE) can be recycled at your local supermarket and other locations. Once the bags are recycled, they are made into lumber, trashcan liners or plastic bags.


Step 1

Find out if your local curbside recycling program will accept plastic grocery bags.

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Step 2

Drop off plastic grocery bags Type 2 and Type 4 at your local grocery store, if you cannot recycle them through your curbside program. Most grocery stores will accept plastic bags and have recycling bins inside the store.


Step 3

Exclude any plastic bags that are dark in color or bags that have handles or drawstrings. Plastic food packaging and plastic food wrap (Saran wrap) are also non-recyclable.

Step 4

Clean and dry bags thoroughly before recycling, making sure they are empty of any debris. This is important, since foreign objects will contaminate the plastic as it is being recycled.


Step 5

Check with your county department of public works to find out about local curbside recycling programs and community drop-off centers, or look under "Recycling" in the Yellow Pages.