How to recycle plastic packaging and films

Plastic packaging and film packaging are generally # 2 and # 4 plastics, both of which are recyclable. It is often recycled into composite wood, but it can become a wide variety of products. Unless your local recycling department tells you otherwise, plastic wrap and film must be dropped off at a drop-off point for recycling.

Find recycling guides for other materials


Frequently asked questions about plastic packaging and film recycling

What does “plastic resin code” mean?

Plastic materials are usually marked with a number that indicates the type of plastic from which they are made. Consumers can then use this information to determine whether or not certain types of plastic are collected for recycling in their area. Look for a number in a triangle on your plastic item to determine the code, but be aware that just because it has a symbol doesn’t mean it is collected for recycling. Learn more about the numbers behind plastics.

Which packaging and films can be recycled and which cannot?

Please recycle:

  • Grocery and retail bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • The outer wrapping of towels, paper towels, toilet paper and diapers
  • Bread bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • The outer packaging of bulk drinks
  • Produce bags
  • All clean and dry bags labeled # 2 or # 4

Please DO NOT recycle:

  • Food or cling film
  • Pre-packaged food bags (including frozen food bags and pre-washed salad bags)
  • Plastic film that has been painted or has excessive adhesive residue

What is the difference between plastic wrap and wrap and plastic bag?

While both are recyclable, a plastic bag is associated with grocery and retail shopping, while the plastic wrap and wrap covers a wider range of the same recyclable materials, including everything from your bags. from dry cleaning and cover your new mattress to the bag your newspaper receives. delivered in or bag around your bread.

All of these items should be recycled as long as they are clean and dry.

Will my grocery store take back plastic films and films for recycling?

Most grocers and large retailers such as Target and Walmart now accept plastic bags, packaging, and film for recycling. Look for a bin near the front of the store or go to the recycling locator to find a plastic wrap recycling location near you.

Does it matter if the wrap or plastic wrap is wet or soiled with food?

It does. Wet or food-contaminated plastic films and films should not be recycled as they can lead to costly contamination during the recycling process. Be sure to clean the plastic and allow it to dry before you drop off your plastic wrap and film for recycling.

Enter your postal code in the recycling locator below to find a plastic film recycling center near you.

Bryce K. Locke