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Recycling Plastic Bags: a Way To Save the Planet and Create Space at Home

By Dawna Matthews: 

Plastic bags have been in our everyday life for quite some time now. I remember when,during college, I had a summer job at a grocery store and plastic bags were a relatively new option. (Remember the “paper or plastic” question?) Now, it seems you can get a strange look if you bring your own grocery bags instead of using plastic. We also use items such as plastic sandwich or kitchen storage bags to store or carry food. I try to rinse and reuse them for snacks and such, but ultimately they tend to get thrown away. That is until now.  

recycling-plastic-bagsPlastic bags have always been a topic in recycling news. Whether you bring your own bags to stores or not, or reuse your plastic storage bags or not, most likely you have a collection of plastic bags in your kitchen. You might use them to clean up dog poop or may not know what to do with them. We all love their convenience, but oftentimes they are added to the landfill. Most recycling programs in your neighborhood do not accept plastic bags even though they have recycling symbols on the packaging. This is because they can get tangled in the machines at your local recycling department.

Well, good news! There are plastic bag recycling bins at several retail stores, making it easier to take care of Bag Recyclingthe earth while reducing clutter and trash. Most bins are marked for plastic shopping bags but are also good for recycling plastic storage bags, dry cleaning bags, and plastic wrap from products — all in the same place. All you have to do is bundle up your plastic shopping bags, clean and dry your storage bags, and take them to a participating store — voila!

Sometimes people feel it’s too difficult to recycle, that it is more convenient to just use and throw away. Here are a few tips to help remind you to recycle plastic bags:

• Add it to your grocery list: Many times it helps to write things down to reinforce them. Add a note such as “recycle plastic bags,” then set off on your journey, grab your bags, and recycle.

• Place your bags in your reusable shopping bags: Get into the habit of taking your reusable bags along with recyclables to the store. If you keep them together, then there is no scrambling to get everything organized because it’s already together.
• Keep your recyclables in one space: Pick a place for your recyclable objects and use it. I like to have mine in the garage by the door because it’s easy to notice. When I set off on my grocery trip, I just grab them on my way out.

If you’ve used and reused your various plastic bags for shopping, snacks, and dog walks, recycle them them at your local retail store. When you do this, you have peace of mind that you are taking care of the earth as well as clearing up the clutter in your life. Isn’t recycling a beautiful thing?

About Dawna Matthews

Dawna is a yoga teacher, writer, domestic goddess, and lover of life. She tries to celebrate all the joys given to us in this world by dancing, singing, cooking, and gazing up at the sky. Dawna believes green living is a way of coming back to the self- a simple yet deeply satisfying dance of gratitude to mother earth and each one of us. She lives in Colorado where the mountains are a perfect backdrop to each day. She twirls daily.

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