Can You Recycle Plastic Trash Bags (And How)

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Written By Georgios Sinis


Black plastic trash bag with a symbol on the top right indicating it is not recyclable

You can not recycle plastic trash bags in most curbside recycling programs. While they are made of a recyclable plastic resin, LDPE (#4), they belong in a category referred to as “film” in the recycling business. Plastic film types can jam machinery, making them very hard to process.

Disposal Method: Garbage Bin
Plastic Types (#): LDPE #4

Please note: Recycling guidelines may vary depending on local regulations and facilities. The information provided here is intended as a general guide and may not apply to your specific location or item. Always check with your local recycling center or municipal authority for the most accurate and up-to-date recycling information in your area.

Typical RIC Symbols Used

Showing the LDPE Plastic recycling symbol RIC #4 used in plastic trash bags

Where To Recycle

1) Use Recycling Locators: Locate Trash Bag specialized recycling programs near you using RecycleNation & Earth911 (US) or RecycleNow (UK). Search based on the RIC symbol and the item name.

2) Find a dedicated plastic trash bag (film) recycling spot using their locator. (US only)