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Are Plastic Bags Actually Recyclable?

By Marissa Higgins

Recently, people have been ditching plastic bags. Whether it's because you remember to bring your reusable bag from home, opt for paper, or simply toss a small item or two into your purse or backpack, turning down plastic is picking up speed. Some cities and countries are even banning plastic bags entirely. That said, sometimes plastic is truly your only practical option. Which leads us to the question: Can you recycle plastic bags or not?

The short answer is: It depends. With recycling in general, what can and can't be recycled varies depending on where you are. Your city may have different parameters for what they're able to recycle than those in a surrounding area, the place you last lived, where your parents live, and so on. This means you need to do a little work. Go to your area's official website (or call 311) and do some digging on what is accepted in your recycling bin.

Sadly, many cities don't accept plastic bags from residential recycling. But if yours does, simply contain the plastic bags in a bigger plastic bag, and toss accordingly.