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What is Recyclable

Plastic film – also known as plastic film packaging or PE film – is the wrap around many household products including paper plates, napkins, bathroom tissue, diapers, and more. It is also commonly used in e-commerce packaging like air pillows, bubble wrap, and poly mailers. All of these materials can be recycled through in-store drop-off programs.

Recycling plastic bags and film video

Multi-material flexible films contain different layers of materials (paper, plastic, film, foil, metallized or coated paper). These carefully engineered materials provide many of the properties that consumers and businesses love – adding durability, product safety, extending product life – but their construction also makes it more difficult to recycle. Multi-materials can be beneficially reused through a waste to energy facility. This approach is used extensively in countries like Japan, but is not yet widespread in the U.S.

How and Where to Recycle Plastic Film

To recycle your plastic film, first make sure that it is clean (e.g., no food residue) and dry. Then, take it to your nearest drop-off location to be collected for recycling. There are more than 18,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada, including many grocery stores. Sometimes recycling your plastic film is as easy as taking it with you on your next trip to the grocery store! 

Find a drop off location near you to recycle your plastic bags, wraps and film! 

Get the Family Involved

We’ve all become familiar with ♻️ recycling bins used to collect rigid plastic, glass, metal, cardboard, etc. In addition to collecting your curbside recycling, setup a bag or box to easily collect your plastic film.  

Downloadable Resources

Plastic Film Recycling Information Links to PDF
Recycling Tip Card
Plastic Film Recycling What Can I Recycle PDF in Spanish
Recycling Tip Card - Espanol
Frequently Asked Questions about Plastic Film Recycling Links to PDF

What Happens to Recycled Plastic Film?

Plastic film can be upcycled into many useful products and be used to make composite lumber for making decks, benches, and playground sets. Plastic film can also be reprocessed into small pellets, which can be made into new bags, pallets, containers, crates, and pipe. 

Improving Recycling Efforts

Many efforts are underway to overcome recovery and recycling challenges, including public and private collaborative programs that help educate consumers and put new processes in place. Others focus on developing new recycling technologies or more recyclable materials for use in flexible packaging.

Films & Flexibles Recycling Coalition

The Film & Flexibles Recycling Coalition works collaboratively to identify and scale recovery methods for film and flexible packaging. Learn more about the plan, goals and approach. >> 


How2Recycle on-package labels provide consumers with instructions on which flexible packaging components can be recycled and how. Explore labels and learn more. >>

Hefty® ReNew® Program

This program diverts flexible packaging from landfills and establishes a way to collect hard-to-recycle plastics at curbside and uses them as valued resources.
See how it works >>

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