Ask 2: What types of plastic bags can be recycled in Houston?

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At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

The question: What types of plastic bags can be recycled at grocery stores?

The answer: We answered a question about plastic bags a few months back. Plastic bags can be recycled at grocery and retail stores such as Walmart, Target and H-E-B, but certain types of bags are accepted.

Most grocery and retail stores accept high-density (HDPE or #2 plastic) and low-density (LDPE or #4 plastic) plastic bags. Some plastic bags may not be labeled as either one, which creates confusion for some customers.

Recycle Coach lists the types of plastic bags that are acceptable at most retail stores and recycling facilities. Check with your nearest store or facility before bringing them.

The types of bags accepted are the following:

  • Plastic shopping bags (from any store)
  • Food packaging (Ziploc-type bags)
  • Bread bags (loaves of bread, hamburger buns, etc)
  • Produce bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Plastic newspaper wrapping
  • Bubble wrap and air pillows (pop them first before recycling)

Some plastics such as frozen food bags, biodegradeable bags and six-pack rings (that come with sodas and beer) cannot be recycled. Click here to see the full list.

Do you have a burning H-Town-related question? Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.


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