plastic film recycle

Renee, I'm confused on recycling film vs. plastic bags vs. bubble wrap or other bubble type packing that has the recycle sign with a number on it. Which goes in recycling and which gets taken back to grocery stores?  Also will our grocery stores take all sorts of shopping bags, or just their own?  I've been taking all kinds in.




It’s no wonder you’re confused. There are a lot of different types of plastic film and the rules have changed a bit over the years. Unlike a piece of plastic in a landfill, I can break it down for you.

To start, ALL plastic film should go to a store or recycling facility that accepts this type of material. It should NOT go in your curbside recycling bin. Stores that accept plastic film include (but may not be limited to) Kroger, Lowe’s, Target, Wal-Mart and Meijer. These stores will accept any film, not just their own. Other facilities that accept film include Indianapolis Recycled Fiber and RecycleForce.

Recyclable Plastic Film IS:

  • Plastic grocery bags

  • Product wrap (like the plastic covering toilet paper)

  • Bread bags

  • Plastic cereal bags

  • Produce bags

  • Newspaper bags

  • Dry cleaning bags

  • Zipper food storage bags

  • Bubble wrap and packing air pillows

  • Plastic shipping envelopes

Only recycle clean, dry plastic film and be sure to remove all receipts and other non-film materials. And, remember, it’s always better to reuse items as many times as possible before recycling.

Do NOT Recycle:

  • Biodegradable or compostable bags

  • Pre-washed salad mix bags

  • Frozen food bags

  • Candy bar wrappers

  • Chip bags

  • Six pack rings

Piece out,



Renee Sweany is NUVO's green living advice blogger.

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