Recycling Tip: The Scoop On Recycling Plastic Film

For more than a year ORS has been encouraging folks to put all plastic film (plastic bags, plastic wraps, bubble wraps, air pillows, etc) in the garbage, and out of the mixed recycling. Yet folks often say to us “But this stuff is supposed to be recyclable!” They are right–theoretically.  The reality is that in a recycling processing plant, plastic films mostly just gum up the works. Plastic bags wrap themselves around every moving part in the facility often stopping the line while employees cut the bags out of the equipment with razor knives. This material mostly ends up in the garbage. When plastic films are bundled together in large bales, then processors can handle plastic film, and recycle it. That’s why ORS is raising money to buy an industrial scale “baler” that will allow us to collect film separately, bale it, and get it into the recycling stream. In the meantime, many supermarkets on the mainland have plastic film collection bins. You can save up your film and drop it off next time you are off-island.