In the era of reusable grocery bags (this household has quite the collection), many people feel guilty when they are forced to get plastic grocery sacks at the store. Plastic is really making a mess out there in the environment, and cutting down on using it is fairly fashionable right now. That’s not a bad thing.
However, no one should feel guilty about using plastic grocery sacks so long as they are reused or recycled. Reuses can be anything from picking up dog droppings to containing a wet swimsuit in a suitcase. Recycling, on the other hand, produces new and durable products.
According to the Georgia Recycling Coalition, plastic from grocery sacks is mixed with wood scraps to produce something called composite lumber. This material is used for deck planking, among other things, and is more durable than natural wood.
Plastic grocery sacks are also recycled into other plastic grocery sacks. They are simply melted down and reused.
There are also a number of companies working on using this specific plastic for new technologies and products like nanotubes.
It is very easy to recycle plastic grocery sacks, especially if your local grocery store(s) have bins outside to collect them.
First, be sure to remove EVERYTHING from inside the sack. That includes receipts as this will contaminate the batch.
Have a dedicated space to put sacks when they are emptied. Some people use a bin, this house just hangs one on the knob of the back door and stuffs it until the bag is full at which point it goes to the grocery store on the next trip.
Plastic bags that can be recycled include the ones we all know and love, and those with a number 2 or 4 on them. In general, curbside recycling programs do not accept plastic bags. Just to be sure though, check with the local company for what is accepted and what isn’t.