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Can You Recycle Trash Bags?

Can You Recycle Trash Bags?

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Are you not actually recycling but wishcycling?

Many people place a lot of time and effort on recycling but there are many misconceptions that is actually possible.  Most people are familiar with the idea of recycling newspapers, aluminum cans and paper bags. However, there is a great deal more to understanding recycling practices .  In fact misconceptions are so common, it is referred to as “Wishcycling” is the process of placing discards into the recycling bin even when there's little to no chance for their recovery.

Throughout the day you will find endless crossroads when trying to save the planet. What about that orange juice bottle you finished at breakfast? (Yes, as long as you clean it out!) Okay, now how about your old toaster? (Sorry, but no.) Here’s a tricky one: Can you recycle trash bags? Moreover, can plastic bags be recycled at all?Afterall  many types of plastic get recycled. So the short answer? Yes, you can recycle plastic trash bags; however, there are some things you need to know. 

Can You Recycle Trash Bags? 

The good news:  Many plastic trash bags can be recycled. The challenge: rarely can you recycle them in a standard curbside recycling bin. Unfortunately, most recycling centers that process recyclables, like glass and paper, aren’t equipped to deal with plastic bags in the waste stream and are not able to recycle plastic bags and thus they can not be brought to the curb. 

That being said, most plastic trash bags are actually recyclable and with a bit of extra effort you can give them a second life. To do so, you must take them to a designated plastic film recycling drop-off. We know - in the world of iPhones the thought of film recycling seems far out there but most grocery stores now offer drop-off points for plastic film recycling. You can also typically recycle other thin plastic films, such as plastic wrap and plastic grocery bags, at these locations. Score! A great resource to get you started? Visit to help find a plastic film recycling location near you.

So, Should I Use a Bag for My Recycling?

This is a really solid question we get asked very often. 

In most cities and towns, you should put your recyclables straight into the bin without a trash bag. If you put your recyclables in a non-recyclable trash bag, there’s a good chance your waste collection service will send them to a landfill instead to avoid contaminating the recycling stream. 

Some municipalities will pick up recycling bags as part of the recycling program. This is excellent and really helpful as it allows you to keep your cans clean while recycling. Keeping 

recycling bags on hand is incredibly helpful for both residences and businesses, especially when there is a need to gather and move large amounts of recyclables from multiple locations. As previously mentioned, beyond holding trash, recycling bags are also important for keeping bins clean, as they prevent the bin from getting stained and developing odors from the things that are thrown into it. That, in turn, helps keep vermin like flies and rats away. 

Recycling bags are especially important for service industry businesses like restaurants and bars, where hundreds or thousands of bottles and cans might be entering the recycling every day. In cases like this, a business can use heavy-duty or recycling bags as a convenient way to transport recyclables. The employees empty the recyclables from the bag into the pickup bin and then place the bags in the plastic bag bins for dropoff at a plastic film recycling point. 

Order Recycling Bags to Properly Dispose of Your Recyclables

young man taking out garbage in black plastic bag

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Recycling Bags from Plasticplace offers rugged plastic recycling bags suitable for carrying heavy recyclables. Our 95- to 96-gallon blue recycling bags are a favorite for businesses and institutional customers who need large-capacity recycling bags that won’t burst or leak when loaded with bulky materials. For smaller bins, our 12- to 16-gallon recycling bags are a great choice, and they even come adorned with the classic recycling symbol to help keep recyclables separate from trash. 

Likewise, if you’re interested in reducing the plastic footprint of your home or business,’s selection of post-consumer recycled trash bags is a convenient way to do it. Our recycled trash bags are built to withstand heavy loads and tough applications, but they’re also made from recycled plastic that helps reduce the amount of plastic used to manufacture new bags.

Remember, to truly cross the finish line of recycling your trash bags, you should recycle all trash bags from through a designated plastic film drop-off unless you live in a town or city that specifically has the capacity to recycle plastic bags. Keep plastic bags out of your recycling bins.

Keep Recyclables Separated with Blue Recycling Bags

Plasticplace 32- to 33-Gallon Post-Consumer Recycled Trash Bags

Plasticplace 32- to 33-Gallon Post-Consumer Recycled Trash Bags

Browse our recycling bags, as well as our full eco-friendly collection, to find the perfect bags for your recyclables. 

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