Recycling Tips: During COVID Times, More Important Than Ever To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Plastic Bags, Packaging

Recycling Tips: During COVID Times, More Important Than Ever To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Plastic Bags, Packaging

Here is another short and sweet suite of reduce-reuse-recycle tips with a large potential impact.

Grocery Bags

As many of you know, plastic bags should not go in your curbside carts, but can be recycled at grocery stores, where they are collected and recycled, largely by the plastic lumber industry.

While some of those programs were stalled last year due to COVID-related concerns, there are still places to take them. Jewel-Osco chains have committed to continuing their programs, for one.

Call or enquire at your local retailer to see if they have maintained or reinstated the program.  If not, encourage management to do so.

For more on this topic, see this May 2020 article on plastic bags.

Use Reusable Bags Instead of Plastic!

Though many stores banned the use of cloth bags for a period of time last year, most of them allow it again now. I’ve been using mine for months without any issues!

In August 2020, the Illinois Recycling Association sent this letter to Gov. JB Pritzker asking that he reverse the executive order previously put into effect that prevented the use of reusable bags because of fears of COVID-19. There is now science-based evidence that the virus is not transmitted from surfaces.

Therefore, to reduce waste and increase reuse, they asked that reusable bags be allowed. The executive order has not been amended to date but the evidence listed in the letter is largely accepted to be the case.

So please do use your reusable washable bags and refuse to take plastic bags at stores!

Plastic Delivery Packaging

Please see this article from April 2020 about packaging materials in your home deliveries that are also recyclable.

Plastic packaging that can be recycled along with your grocery bags at grocery stores include: plastic film, plastic bags and wraps, plastic envelopes/mailers (cut paper labels off and discard), plastic air pillows (popped), and bubble wrap.

Remember that every single action we take makes a difference, and all together we have a huge impact! Thank you for all that you do to recycle right, reuse, reduce, and rethink!

Read More Recycling Tips!

COVID-19 Recycling Tips