I am an O.C.E. The term, coined by Kip Andersen, stands for “Obsessive Compulsive Environmentalist”.  As an O.C.E., I’m always looking for more ways to recycle. Seriously, it physically pains me to throw things away.

For almost a year now I’ve been recycling plastic film. But many people don’t know that this kind of plastic is recyclable.

Photos courtesy of plasticfilmrecycling.org


Plastic film includes plastic grocery shopping bags, zip-top sandwich and storage bags, bread packaging, dry cleaning bags, and more. Once you start collecting it you will quickly realize – it is EVERYWHERE! It wraps your packages, toiletries, food, office supplies, etc.

Maybe because it’s on everything we buy, plastic film and bags are filling our oceans, landfills, and streets. Sea creatures often mistake plastic film for jelly-fish, resulting in countless avoidable casualties. So, instead of throwing that plastic away, please recycle it now that you know it’s possible. It’s extremely easy, and free.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Many stores have plastic film recycling bins, such as Target, Shaw’s, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and many others. Enter your zip-code here to find a convenient location near you. Sometimes the recycling bins are tucked away in sneaky places, so to find it just ask someone who works at the store.

My method of plastic film recycling is to simply put a spare plastic bag near my recycling bin and fill it up, just as I would with all of my other recyclables. When the bag is full, I tie it up and take it to the store. Of course, it’s great to use as few plastic bags and as little plastic film as possible, but if you receive packages or buy any packaged food it can be tough to completely avoid.

To learn more about plastic film recycling visit the Plastic Film Recycling website. While you’re at it read this Eco RI article to find out the correct way to recycle caps, lids and tops. Every bit counts and it will add up. Happy recycling!


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