While at the grocery store we’ve all heard the phrase, “paper, or plastic?” Some of us respond with “neither” because we’ve come prepared with our own reusable bags. The rest of us will choose to either use paper or plastic. If you opt to use plastic, what do you do with all of you unpack your purchases?
By recycling just ten plastic bags, you can save enough energy to power a laptop for 3.4 hours. Yet, many people often get confused as to whether or not plastic bags can be recycled as part of a curbside drop off. As a simple rule of thumb, unless a plastic takes the form of any rigid container, you cannot recycle it. Under this categorization, plastic bags cannot be recycled in curbside drop offs.
Instead, simply bring your grocery bags back to the store on your next trip. Upon entering grocers like Wegmans, you should see a plastic bag recycling bin. There, you can drop off your bags. If the grocer you shop at does not have a plastic bag recycling service, ask a store manager about alternatives.
Written by Darya Nicol, class of 2016
Photo courtesy of Yuichi Shiraishi