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Posted on March 2, 2021 at 7:55 AM by Natalie Nebilak
What is film plastic?
Before we can dive into the ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle film plastics, we need to understand what type of plastic we are referring to. Film plastics are those which are malleable and easily stretched when pulled, such as the produce bags found in the grocery store, plastic grocery bags, the plastic bags around loaves of bread, different “cling wraps”, and the overwrap that we see on bundles of toilet paper. Film plastics do NOT include those which “crinkle” when handled, such as the type of plastic that encloses a DVD case or cereal bags. While we can certainly reuse some of these film plastics (like plastic bags), film plastics can not be recycled through our curbside recycling program or at our local recycling facility, but we do have an alternative. Film plastics are often collected at local grocery stores to be recycled into new materials.
REDUCE our consumption
The waste hierarchy is our guiding principle when it comes to reducing, reusing, and recycling our garbage, and the same convention can be used with film plastics and plastic bags. Reducing our consumption of film plastics can mean bringing our own grocery bags to the store, buying fresh bread that doesn’t come in plastic bags, and using glassware with snap on lids to save leftovers, instead of film plastic wraps. Each action we take to REDUCE our consumption translates to a piece of plastic that we can help make sure never ends up in our environment.
REUSE plastic bags
Using our reusable bags has become second nature for some of us, but what should we do with all those single use plastic bags we’ve accumulated? You can use them as trash liners or pet waste bags. Bring some empty bags while you take a walk on the beach or in the neighborhood and pick up loose trash as you go. Every little bit helps keep plastic out of our oceans and community.
RECYCLE plastic bags
If we have done all we can to reduce our consumption and reuse what we have accumulated, we can take the remaining film plastics to be recycled. Yes, recycled! We now have a reliable method of recycling film plastics like plastics bags, overwrap, and other stretchy plastic films. These items can be dropped off at select local stores in the designated bins, usually found at the front of the store. The locations listed below accept film plastic recycling:
Where to drop of film plastics for Recycling
Kohl's - 4950 Telephone Rd. Ventura, CA 93003
Lowe's - 500 S. Mills Rd. Ventura, CA 93003
Ralphs - 1776 S Victoria Ave, Ventura, CA 93003
Sprouts - 4870 Telephone Rd, Ventura, CA 93003
Target - 4200 E. Main St Ventura, CA 93003
Target - 245 S. Mills Rd Ventura, CA 93003
Winco - 4750 Telephone Rd, Ventura, CA 93003
Remember: remove all contents from the plastic bags including receipts, twist ties, tabs, and stickers. Any piece of metal can cause serious problems in the recycling equipment.
And please remember NOT to put them in the blue recycle bin.
Where do our plastic bags go when they are recycled
When we drop our plastic bags off at the above mentioned locations to be recycled, where are they going? These film plastics are being recycled by the company Trex®, eco-friendly composite decks that are a blend of 95% recycled wood and plastic film. The recycled wood is combined with recycled plastic film from a variety of sources ranging from the overwrap on paper towels to dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, newspaper sleeves, and grocery and shopping bags. The average 500-square foot composite Trex deck contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags!