Film Plastics

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Film Plastics

What Are Film Plastics?

Film plastics are a few different things when it comes to the world of recycling. These include grocery bags, plastic bags on the roll for your loose produce, bread bags and potting soil/fertilizer bags for example.

Why Are They At Risk?

In June of 2020 most recycling programs removed this material from their collection. Why? Because film plastics are placed at the curb dirty, or is the wrong type of material. Both lead to ‘contamination’ and cannot be sold to reproducers of film plastics. We are seeing an alarming amount of contamination in our collection, and the materials are unsellable which means they end up in landfill. As with all other recyclable materials, they need to be clean.

What’s The Problem?

In 2019 when China shut its doors to receiving recycling from North America, the competition became stringent for the recycling markets. While Quinte Waste Solutions has been fortunate to keep all of our material purchasers domestic, other recycling facilities had to send their materials overseas. With no oversea markets now available those recycling facilities were left to find new North American markets. With the competition being incredibly competitive, that meant recyclable materials needed to be top-notch in order to beat out the competition.

What’s The Good News?

Thankfully we are still able to accept film plastics!

We can accept:

  • Grocery bags
  • Bread bags
  • Produce bags from the roll
  • Potting Soil/Fertilizer bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Milk bags (including the bags that you put in your pitcher)
  • Transparent recycling bags (clear, blue, etc)
  • Case wrap (i.e. water bottle wrap)

We cannot accept:

  • Chip bags
  • Candy wrappers
  • Food packaging
  • Frozen food bags
  • Cereal bags
  • Produce netting
  • Bubble wrap
  • Pet food bags
  • BLACK film plastic
  • Cling Wrap/Saran Wrap

For any of the items that we accept, PLEASE MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLEAN AND DRY! Otherwise, they are strictly garbage. Once you have all your film plastics clean, dry and ready for recycling, place them in a single grocery bag and place them on top of your papers in your standard size (~14″) blue box for collection.

Not sure if it’s a recyclable film plastic? Do the scrunch test! Squeeze it up into a ball in your hand. If you open your hand and stays scrunched up, it’s recyclable. If it bounces back, it’s garbage!

Have more questions about what is and isn’t recyclable? Check out our ReThink Waste Tool. Simply input the material you are questioning and it will tell you what you can do with it. Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Send us an email. We are always happy to answer your recycling questions!

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