One of the reasons plastic has fallen out of favor in recent years is that plastic waste seems to be everywhere. We have all probably noticed plastic clinging to fences and trees, floating across the landscape and local waters, or even in the ocean. These lightweight modern packaging marvels can keep food fresh longer, preserving the tasty treats inside. But plastics can travel long distances on a breeze, often landing where they are difficult to retrieve, detrimentally impacting the environment.
Reusable bags are an alternative to single-use plastic bags, but despite our best efforts, we may still end up with items such as cling wrap, bread and dry-cleaning bags, and the overwrap around items like paper towels and cases of bottled water. Properly recycling plastic bags and plastic film packaging diverts this material from landfills and keeps it out of the environment. Recycling also supports a whole network of local businesses that collect and process these materials, as well as the American manufacturers who subsequently transform these materials into new products.
The bags and films you recycle can be made into a variety of new products and packaging, including: new bags and wraps, durable items such as outdoor patio furniture, office supplies, crates, pallets, and pipes, and plastic composite lumber that is used to make items like park benches, fencing, and decks. Most recycled post-consumer film plastic in the U.S. is currently used to manufacture decking.