Recycling #4 Plasctic

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After buying toilet paper today, I realized companies waste a lot of plastic wrapping every 6 rolls together then wrapping 6 of those together to make a larger bundle.  Even though it’s quite compressible, it’s the kind of garbage that expands to fill whatever garbage can you put it into, making it seem fuller than it really is.

Looking at the plastic wrapping, I noticed it was #4 plastic, LDPE.  Although the feel is different, I wondered if it was the same kind of plastic that they use in grocery bags.  Then I could recycle it at the grocery store along with all the other plastic bags.  Checking a grocery bag, sure enough it was #4.

Still to be sure, I searched online and found two sites that explained what you were allowed to recycle in those plastic bag take-back bins.  The list of things you could actually recycle besides grocery bags surprised me:  bread bags, those heavy plastic salt bags (sans handles), newspaper bags, stretch wrap, shrink film, paper product wrappers, and dry cleaner bags.  What isn’t allowed is rigid plastic, bubble wrap, or dirty bags.

We’ve always recycled plastic bags in our own way.  We use them to line garbage cans which keeps them clean.  Plus we don’t have to reach into the can to grab the icky, stuck kleenex on the bottom.   Now in the closet next to the plastic bags we re-purpose as trash bags, I have an extra bag I’ll fill with the other #4 plastic waste and odd-shaped bags that aren’t useful for trash.

Plastic Shopping Bags — Rethink Recycling
Plastic Bags — Anoka County Website

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