Low-density polythene (LDPE) plastics are not always recyclable through local recycling programs. Recycling rules do change over time, sometimes because a local government chooses a different waste management company. Check your local area's rules often to keep abreast of any changes as they occur. If your local recycling program does not accept LDPE plastics, or even if they single out certain LDPE plastics as unacceptable, there may be other options available in your neighbourhood. Small steps such as these make a difference when many people take them together.
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Check your local kerbside recycling program to find out what they accept. Read the recycling codes of items that are accepted; LDPE plastics are labelled with the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) code No. 4 surrounded by the triangular recycling arrows logo. Note that some LDPE plastics may be accepted, while plastic bags may not be.
Visit or call local grocery stores to see whether or not they accept plastic bags and other recycling. Check near both entrance and exit doors for labelled recycling bins.
Put your LDPE plastics out with the recycling if your local recycling program accepts them. Bring them to your local grocery store if they accept them, and your local recycling program does not.
Tips and warnings
- LDPE plastics include plastic shopping bags, as well as plastic bags used for frozen foods, dry cleaning and bread. Squeeze bottles for condiments are also commonly made from this type of plastic.
- Grocery stores are not the only local stores that may recycle plastic bags. In some cases, home improvement or furniture stores may take them as well. However, grocery stores are the most likely to accept them. Keep your eyes open as you visit various local stores; you may be pleasantly surprised at their recycling options.
- Stores that accept plastic bags may also accept other items that you cannot recycle through kerbside recycling programs. Household items such as light bulbs and disposable batteries are recyclable, but most kerbside recycling programs do not accept them. Check local stores to find ways to recycle these items as well.
- LDPE plastics that get recycled can be remade into a number of products that are useful in everyday life. Furniture, man-made lumber products, compost bins, shipping envelopes and garbage bags are just some of the items your LDPE plastics may become after successful recycling.
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