Plastic Bags

Curbside Trash Curbside Recycling

Plastic bags, plastic film*, and plastic wrapping, may be placed in your recyclables cart ONLY if clean, dry, and tied** in a larger clear plastic bag, for the Republic Services area in West Contra Costa County. (Note: El Cerrito no longer accepts any plastic bags or film in their recycables cart, so they must go in the trash cart.)

Loose bags are not accepted in curbside recycling as they can cause a lot of problems such as getting stuck in the sorting equipment.

Loose bags must be placed in your curbside trash cart.

You can also recycle your plastic bags, film and wrap at participating locations by bringing them to a drop-off location. Find your closest drop-off location.

 

*Plastic Film – also known as plastic film packaging – is soft, flexible polyethylene (PE) packaging such as grocery, bread, zip-top and dry cleaning bags. It’s also the wrap around many products including paper plates, napkins, bathroom tissue, diapers, and more.

**Self-tie the larger outside plastic bag. Plastic tags and twist ties cannot be recycled, so they should be thrown in the trash.

Plastic Bag

Keep Separate From Hard Plastics

Many plastic bags are labeled #2 or #4, but they are too thin to recycle with hard plastics and will get caught in the processing machinery. Find out how to dispose of plastic bags.

Must Be Clean and Dry

Only plastic bags that are clean and dry can be recycled. Empty your bag and wash out any sticky residues. Paper receipts, food traces or other materials can contaminate the recycling process.

Ways to Reduce

reusable tote bag

Reusable Bags

Bring along a reusable tote to save plastic on your next trip to the grocery store. Some grocery stores will offer a small cash rebate when you bring in bags. You can also look for retailers who have a plastic bag recycling bin in their store.

Did You Know?

The Impact of Plastic Pollution

More than one million plastic bags are used per minute worldwide, and on a daily basis, over 10 metric tons of plastic from Los Angeles enter into the Pacific Ocean each day. Ninety percent of trash floating in the ocean is from plastic that will take between five hundred and one thousand years to degrade. In the meantime, one million birds and 100,000 marine animals are killed each year because of plastic floating in the ocean.

Plastic Bags Become Composite Lumber

Check out this fun video from Vancouver, Washington about how plastic bags and films are recycled into products like composite lumber, which is often used to make decks.