Closing the recycling loop in The Woodlands
Did you know? Every ounce of plastic ever created is still with us. Breaking down into ever-smaller particles, plastic never fully disappears or forms a new compound. Since plastic remains an integral part of our lives, recycling is critical for protecting the environment. We all know that plastic bottles and containers belong in the recycle cart, but what about plastic bags and film?
Plastic bags and film cannot be recycled in your curbside recycling cart.
Why not? Your recycling cart delivers a mixed load of materials to the recycling facility – this is known as single stream recycling. Once there, the jumble is sorted into discrete bales of recyclables – aluminum cans, cardboard, paper, glass, and plastic containers. Contamination is filtered out and landfilled. The more contaminants that enter the system, the harder it is to produce bales of quality recyclables.
Plastic bags and film top the list of contaminants. Hoses, wires, textiles, and Styrofoam are a close second. They wrap around equipment, clog filters, and force the line to stop for cleaning and repair. These interruptions increase the cost to process the material, harming its marketability and the success of our recycling program.
Recycle more at the store! Although plastic bags and film cannot go in your recycling cart, they CAN be recycled at participating locations including all grocery stores in The Woodlands. Any plastic bag or film that is clean, dry, and stretchy can go back to the store for proper recycling.
Click here for a printable version of this tip card
What happens next? Each year, tons of plastic film are turned into composite lumber – a plasticized material used in park benches, picnic tables, decks, fences, and playground equipment. This material is commonly used in our parks and pedestrian bridges.
Want to learn more about plastic film recycling in The Woodlands? Visit us at the next Plastic Film Outreach Day this Saturday, July 30, 2022 at H-E-B in Creekside Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. An expert will be available to answer questions and provide examples of recyclables films. Reusable produce bags and shopping lists will be available while supplies last.
Want to recycle MORE? Check out this the Recycle More Guide for locations to recycle items such as batteries, electronics, Styrofoam and more at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/recyclemore. For questions, contact Environmental Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-210-3800.
Check out these recycling tips from previous blogs:
- Recycling Dilemma #1010 – Textiles
- Recycling Dilemma #1009 – Recycling Dilemma #1009: Caution, that pizza box is cheesy!
- Recycling Dilemma #1008 – Plastic bags and film – Friend or Foe?
- Recycling Dilemma #1007 – How to stay caffeinated, sustainably
- Recycling Dilemma #1006 – Online Shopping
- Recycling Dilemma #1005 – Take-out Containers
- Recycling Dilemma #1004 – To bag or not to bag
- Recycling Dilemma #1003 – Moving Boxes and Oversized Cardboard
- Recycling Dilemma #1002 – Got Stuff?
- Recycling Dilemma #1001– Oversized Cardboard & Moving Boxes