Why You Should Recycle Plastic Bags

Each year millions of dollars are spent by municipalities across the nation to get rid of plastic bags and each year millions of dollars are spent by retailers to buy the plastic bags to give to you, their customer, which eventually ends up as part of your city's responsibility to get rid of waste. It's a vicious and for now unending cycle.

As more people have become aware of the direct and indirect costs of using plastic bags, many have now formed organizations and movements to put laws in place to recycle plastic bags.  But the government shouldn't have to force you to recycle, there is a better way and it requires little effort from you. Get in the habit of recycling plastic bags and carrying around a reusable cloth or canvas bag to minimize plastic bag waste.

Photo attribution: Creative Commons
Photo attribution: Creative Commons

Re-usable Bags

RuMe Reveal Pocket Bag, Indigo
RuMe Reveal Pocket Bag, Indigo

Folds into a compact 6" x 2" x 3" size so that you can store it in your purse or the glove compartment: 3 bags to a set

Reusable Grocery Tote Bag 6 Pack Combo
Reusable Grocery Tote Bag 6 Pack Combo

Very functional and is a set of 6 bags

Envirosax Planet Green 5-Piece Pouch Set
Envirosax Planet Green 5-Piece Pouch Set

Very stylist and is a set of 5 bags. Click to see price.


To give you an idea of the costs involved in getting rid of plastic bags, let's take a look at the state of California. Each year, it costs that state:

  • $25 million to discard the plastic bags by putting it in landfills.
  • $300 million to clean up plastic bag litter, as reported by the state's public agencies.
  • $1.7 billion to restore clean water in rivers and lakes that have been polluted with plastic bags

We are not even including the costs in terms of time, labor, and money that cities and recyclers are spending on unjamming plastic bags from their machinery. Clearly, recyling plastic bags is an opportunity for any municipality to be able to reduced their expenses.

So how can you do your part to save the city money, possibly lower your tax bill, and clean up your environment?

  1. Many grocery stores now sell at minimal cost, reusable canvas and cloth bags for your use to carry the groceries and other goods out of the store. Make sure that you have one in your shoulder bag(s) or purse(s) and in your car(s) so that you are never without a reusable cloth bag when you decide to make a sudden trip to the store.
  2. Just say no to plastic bags if you are buying only 1 item or if that item is small enough to hand-carry.
  3. Return used plastic bags to stores and supermarkets that offer free recycling.
  4. Re-use plastic bags by lining your trash cans or using it pick up your dog's poop during your daily walk.
  5. Encourage others to use reusable bags and minimize the use of plastic bags.

Recycling plastic bags isn't difficult, all that is needed is a willingness on your and your community's part to make a small change in your habits and you will end up with a much cleaner neighborhood.

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Comments 8 comments

myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

a good reminder, I must say! yes, i agree and feel very strongly about this issue too....so thanks for posting! (and that avatar seems to stare at you forever...creepy in a cool way! ;)

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi myownworld, a small change in habits is all it takes. Thank for dropping by and I think my Halloween costume is cool too.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

I totally agree. I'm big on recycling. I knit plastic bags into reusable shopping bags. I need to give instructions on that someday. I was admiring some of the colors in that picture. I find a lot of white ones from Wal-Mart and Target but it's harder to find other colors.

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks for visiting Pamela. I think it's cool that you know how to knit plastic bag and you def have to write a hub about it.

Part-time Writer profile image

Part-time Writer 6 years ago from Way Up North (USA)

Recycling is not only good for the environment, it simply makes sense to me. Thanks for the hub help and the earth thanks you too.

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks for visiting P-t Writer. Bringing your own bag is the simplest of habits.

jeremytorres profile image

jeremytorres 5 years ago

What a nature-friendly hub! I love it. Thanks.

priya 4 years ago

its Absoluetly yes,for the use of cloth bags instead of plastic bags.this website has helped me a lot....from now i will start using cloth bags.this is not a lie.ITS A PROMISE.

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