The Drama with Plastic Bags
Plastic bags have always been a recycling nightmare. However there is a proper way to go about recycling your plastic bags and keeping them from ending up at the landfill.
The problem is that plastic bags are really lightweight. So lightweight that even the slightest breeze can send them into the treetops or down the road. More problems happen when you place plastic grocery bags into your blue recycling toter.
Sometimes they blow out of the truck before even reaching the recycling facility and end up littering the roadsides. If they do make it to the sorting facility they come down the conveyers just like everything else, except they end up tangled into the machinery.
Tangled enough that they have to shut down the entire line and take what looks like machetes to cut release them from binding up the machinery, which is endangering their own lives. Even the bags that are then removed still end up being sent to the landfill which defeats the purpose of placing them into your recycling bin.
There is a way to recycle them though. Many stores these days have plastic bag recycling receptacles located near their doors and are trying to encourage people to bring their bags there. They are then sent to a specialized recycling facility that deals only with plastic bags/films and end up being recycled from there.
We collect them here at our office as well and have partnered with Trex and will continue to accept your plastic bags and plastic films. The Trex program awards us with a bench made of recycled bags every time we collect 500lbs of plastic bags/ films over a six month period. 500lbs may not seem like a lot, but take into account that it takes 81 bags to equal a single pound. In 2018 we were able to collect almost 70,000 bags through our program.
We are currently working on earning our third bench which will be placed out in our community. We have one currently that was placed at La Porte City Parks and Recreation and one located at Red Mill County Park.