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Keep Fort Worth Beautiful

Can You Recycle It? Plastic Bags

Posted Feb. 16, 2011

Person holding plastic grocery bags

Plastic bags often carry a recycling symbol, but they are not recyclable in the Fort Worth residential recycling program.

Most plastic bags are made from the same kind of plastic as a milk jug, which can be recycled. But unlike its more rigid cousin, a plastic bag can get stuck in the vast network of conveyor belts needed to sort the 43,000 tons of recyclables Fort Worth collects annually. Combine bags from all the households in Fort Worth and you have a recipe for jammed equipment and a costly halt to the sorting process.

Recyclers everywhere face the same problem, so make sure to recycle plastic bags through services that specifically handle plastic bags — a service provided by many grocery stores.

Even better, just don't use plastic bags.

We all see plastic bags blowing down roadways and stuck in bushes and trees, but choosing to take your own, reusable bags to the store can help make that a less frequent sight.

Many retailers offer reusable bags for around a dollar each, and they hold more items than the standard plastic grocery bag. On top of that, several local grocers give rebates for bringing your own bags, so they pay for themselves over time.  

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