Besides plastic bottles, grocery shopping bags are another type of plastic that can be recycled, just NOT in your curbside recycling bin. Most grocery stores offer bag recycling near their front doors. This bins actually accept more than just shopping bags!
You can also recycle the following:
Retail, carryout, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry cleaning bags
Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry)
Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate)
Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers, and female sanitary products
Furniture and electronic wrap
Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include)
Please recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags.
Some plastic bags still aren't recyclable. Please do not include the following:
Degradable/compostable bags or film packaging
Pre-washed salad mix bags
Frozen food bags
Candy bar wrappers
What do all those numbered triangles mean?
Plastic containers labeled with #1 are Polyethylene Terephthalate, abbreviated as PETE or PET. Many plastic containers are made out of this type of plastic including soft drink and water bottles; salad dressing, peanut butter, and vegetable oil containers; and mouthwash bottles. It is one of the two most commonly accepted plastics for recycling.
PET bottles can be recycled into new containers, pallet straps, paneling, carpet and clothing fibers, and fiberfill for soft furnishings and sleeping bags.
Plastic containers labeled with #2 are High-Density Polyethylene abbreviated as HDPE or PD-HD. HDPE is commonly used for milk jugs, shampoo bottles, butter and yogurt tubs, motor oil bottles, shopping and trash bags, bags inside cereal boxes, and household cleaner and detergent bottles. It is one of the two most commonly accepted plastics for recycling.
Due to it's higher density, it can be recycled into lumber, drainage pipes, pens, fencing, picnic tables, doghouses, benches, and floor tiles, as well as being remade into other plastic bottles.
Plastic containers labeled with #3 are Polyvinyl Chloride; abbreviated as PVC or V. PVC can be found in piping, siding, medical equipment, wire jacketing, certain clear food packaging, and cooking oil, window cleaner, detergent, and shampoo bottles.
PVC is rarely recycled.
Plastic containers labeled with #4 are Low Density Polyethylene, abbreviated as LDPE or PE-LD. LDPE is commonly found in shopping bags, squeezable bottles, carpet, furniture, clothing, tote bags, dry cleaning bags, and frozen food or bread bags.
It is not commonly recycled through curbside recycling programs, though many grocery stores do accept bags made of LDPE for recycling. Look for the bins by the front door of these retailers.
Plastic containers labeled with #5 are Polypropylene, abbreviated as PP. It is found in medicine bottles, straws, bottle caps, ketchup bottles and syrup bottles, plastic silverware, and some yogurt containers. If you feel like a plastic item is more durable than others, there's a good chance its made from PP as this plastic is often chosen for bottles and containers that must accept hot liquids as it has a high melting point.
Although it is not commonly recycled, it can be made into trays, pallets, bins, rakes, bicycle racks, landscape borders, ice scrapers, auto battery cases, brushes, brooms, battery cables, and signal lights.
Be sure to check with your local pharmacy to see if they have a recycling program for your prescription pill bottles made from #5 plastic.
Plastic containers labeled with #6 are Polystyrene, abbreviated PS. Polystyrene is more commonly know as "Styrofoam", and is used for many disposable cups and plates, carry-out containers, egg cartons, and meat trays, as well as Styrofoam packing peanuts.
Considered difficult and un-economical to recycle, it technically can be recycled in rare instances. For packing peanuts, reuse is a more eco-friendly option. Check with your local shipping store to see if they take packing peanuts for reuse.
Plastic containers labeled with #7 are Other types of plastics, including acrylic, nylon, and multi-layer construction plastics. These are generally not recyclable through curbside programs.