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  • Writer's pictureThe Pink Elephant Lady

Help Us Keep Our Plastic Bags & Film Recycling Program Affordable and Sustainable!

As drop-off centers have changed what they are able to accept and some facilities close during the pandemic, we have experienced an uptick in our plastic bags & film drop-off program. However, we've been getting materials that are NOT acceptable - not only do these materials make sorting, storage, and transport take longer, they can also contaminate other materials in the load. Plastic bag/film recycling is for plastic types #2 and #4 ONLY - unacceptable materials like white frozen food bags are a different type of plastic.

NOTE: If you're not in our local area, these rules about what is and is not accepted in plastic bag/film recycling applies to wherever you may be taking your materials, such as a municipal drop-off center or retail store.


  • ANYTHING that is dirty, wet, or smells bad. Generally, all recycling should be clean and dry, but this is particularly critical for plastic.

  • ANY frozen food bags (these are typically white).

  • Plastic that is otherwise acceptable but has an excessive amount of tape or sticky labels. If most of the plastic bag is mostly covered in tape or label, throw it out.

  • Floral arrangement overwrap.

  • Cellophane.

  • Manila Amazon envelopes (the goldish-brown paper ones with bubble wrap on the inside). Blue and white Amazon envelopes made entirely of plastic are accepted, however. Amazon is phasing out the manila envelopes but some are still in use. Any other plastic shipping envelope is also acceptable.

  • Flexible pouches (stand-up pouches). We get a TON of these. Examples include snack food, dried fruit, and laundry and dishwasher pod packaging. These are NOT recyclable, as they are a different type of plastic than #2 or #4. However, a few brands in flexible pouches (like Arbonne and Kroger Simple Truth Organics) are included elsewhere in our recycling program and are accepted under that program - be sure to check our list.

  • Plastic shipping straps (typically found on pallets or large boxes). These do not fall into the category of plastic bags/film.

  • The plastic rings around 6 packs of cans.

  • Plastic zippered bags that surround sheet sets, comforter sets, bed in a bag, etc. These are a different type of plastic than #2 or #4.

Here are some examples of items that we do NOT take in the plastic bag/film recycling program (this applies to ALL plastic bag/film recycling programs).

I know this can all seem like a lot to remember, but given the current state of recycling, it is really critical that we do our part to reduce contamination in material streams. This helps ensure that what we drop off for recycling and what we put in our curbside bins actually gets recycled.

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