Plastic bags, plastic films, and plastic wrap (“soft plastics”) create safety hazards, machinery malfunctions, and environmental problems at recycling facilities. Some of these materials are accepted in retail and grocery store collection programs (e.g. Big Y, Stop & Shop). In general, clean and dry plastic bags and wraps are recyclable if they are: 1) clear or translucent; 2) moderately stretchy; 3) marked #2 or #4; and 4) empty and free of food residue. Two important exceptions are household food or “cling” wrap, which must be placed in the trash, and bags labeled “Compostable,” which can be placed in commercial or municipal composting or trash. For a list of accepted materials, see: bagandfilmrecycling.org.
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