How to Recycle Plastic and Reusable Shopping Bags


Plastic shopping bags have many uses after you empty the groceries from them. I use them to hold empty soda cans that I am bringing for recycling, to carry my lunch to work in, to pick up my back yard after my two dogs. I have something called a BagStor trash bag holder on the wall of my  kitchen where I keep a bunch of the bags. But because  I accumulate many more plastic bags  than I really need, I found several places to bring those extra bags for recycling.

Most large supermarkets have a bin where you can drop off plastic bags. The Big Y Supermarket, Reservoir Street, Holden, MA  has a bin in its entryway at the front of the store where plastic shopping bags from any store can be dropped off for recycling. Stop & Shop recycles #02 and #04 plastic shopping bags, dry cleaning bags and newspaper bags. They send the bags to Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. which turns it into composite decking.

Ask the Friends group of your local library if they will take shopping bags to be used at their book sales.

If you’ve switched to using reusable shopping bags, you may find you want to recycle them too. Maybe you’ve collected too many over the years or used them to the point that they aren’t useful. Chico’s, the women’s clothing store, has a Chico Bag Repurposing Program, through which they recycle used reusable shopping bags. Send them to ChicoBag Company, C/O Zero Waste Program, 13434 Browns Valley Drive, Chico, CA 95973. They will be made into new bags and distributed to low income families to encourage reusable bag use or given to The Grateful Thread. This a project that helps raise funds for the Schuylkill Women in Crisis program in Pennsylvania. The donated bags are made into other useful items and the earnings go to the crisis program.

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