Plastic Film

Plastic bags and plastic wraps make up the category “plastic film.” This includes everything from grocery and bread bags to shrink wrap and paper towel film. In 2016, the recovery for recycling of post-consumer plastic film surpassed 1.3 billion pounds – a 123-million-pound increase from 2015.

While most communities do not accept plastic film curbside, recycling coordinators can play a role in helping increase the collection of this important category of plastic.  Many Americans have access to plastic film recycling in their communities. The 2016 National Post-Consumer Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Report found that:

  • 91% to 93% of the U.S. has access to plastic bag recycling
  • 72% to 74% has access to plastic film recycling
  • Much of this recycling happens at grocery and retail stores
  • Post-consumer film recycling has more than doubled since 2005
  • 132 million pounds of post-consumer bags and wrap were recovered for recycling in 2016

Learn More

Check out for comprehensive information about polyethylene film recycling.  Learn what can be recycled along with plastic bags, and try the drop-off directory to locate a nearby retailer, municipal recycling center or private recycler in your area who accepts plastic bags and film packaging.

Here is a great video from Rhode Island, designed to communicate the best way to recycle bags, to their residents.

  • Resources
  • Keep Film out of MRFs - Recycle Film Right
  • Tools for Colleges


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Keep Film out of MRFs - Recycle Film Right

View Keep Film out of MRFs - Recycle Film Right

Tools for Colleges

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