Are Paper Bags Recyclable?

Most kinds of plastic are not good for the environment. Over the recent years, consumers have become increasingly aware of the effect certain materials have on the world around us. Looking for eco-friendly solutions to your shopping bag needs? The search is easier now than it ever was. Today we look at if paper bags are recyclable.

Are All Paper Bags Recyclable? 

Most paper bag products are made from a combination of paper and plastic. This makes the bag more durable and therefore more desirable by consumers. However, this doesn’t take away from its ability to be recycled. This just means that most paper bags can’t be recycled in the same way that regular paper is. 

Mixed bags are recycled along with other products that contain a mix of paper and plastic, such as frozen food packaging and decorative boxes. There are specific recyclers who will take these kinds of products and utilize methods to break down both the plastic and paper materials. 

Expert Tip: If you cannot find any available recycling plant that will take these products, try to reuse them instead! Turn them into decorations or use them to hold your items in future shopping trips. 

Damaged or Wet Paper Bags – Is There Hope? 

What happens if the paper bag you’re using becomes soiled? Maybe you left out in the rain, or you spilled your favorite coffee drink on it. Or worse yet – you spill some food on the bag. 

Paper bags can easily get contaminated with food products that don’t mix well during the recycling process. One of the major components of recycling involves mixing the paper with water to reuse it. If the paper is contaminated with oil, grease, or other spillage, it won’t mix well with the water at all. If your paper bag is soiled, it’s best just to toss it in the trash. 


What Materials Can Your Local Plant Recycle? 

Before putting all of your paper bags into the recycling bin, you may want to get more info about your local recycling plant first. Every recycling facility is different and specializes in different materials. For example, a plant that focuses on recycling plastic may not be able to also recycle paper. Make sure your local recycling plant can recycle mixed paper before you throw your bags away. There’s a handy recycling locator to help you find the best plant near you. 

You can leave extra materials like paper handles and glue on the bag. Most glue is water-soluble, and most bag handles can be disposed of or integrated as part of the recycling process. If the handle is made from something other than paper – thread or twine, for example – it must be removed before the bag gets recycled. 

Recycle and Reuse Your Favorite Bags Today! 

You can always turn your old paper bags into a new art project for you and your family. Or you can cut it up into decorative pieces and use them around the home. There are other ways to keep bags out of landfills, even if you can’t recycle them! But with today’s advancements and accessibility, it should not be too difficult to find a plant that can handle mixed paper products. 

For more information about bags and environmental sustainability, get in touch with us online! You can also call our friendly team at 877-992-2247 during our office hours, and we would be happy to assist you. 

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