What do I do with all these bread bags?

We don’t eat that much bread in our house. But lately, my son wants PB&J morning, noon, and night….on (gulp!) white bread. I have no problem with peanut butter (although almond or cashew butter would be better but I’ll settle with peanut butter as long as we are not consuming it by gallons) or the globs of fruit variety (at least they are from fruit) because I can get organic ones and without corn syrup and all that other refined sugars. My problem is the white bread. Yeah, I try so hard to change my family’s eating habits to healthier ones by “controlling” (yes, that is the exact word I’d use to describe my attempt) what we buy. However, PB&J does taste soooooo much better on white bread than on any other type of bread.

So, I cave in and I buy “all natural” white bread made without refined sugar (is that possible?) Anyway, after finishing off many loaves of bread in the last month, I noticed how many plastic bags, from bread alone, I’ve accumulated. So, I researched as to what to do with them all. After all, I couldn’t make anything with them since they all had some bread crumbs in them and I would have wasted more energy trying to clean them all. Here’s what I found.

According to plasticbagrecycling.org, my bread plastic bags and other bags like them can be recycled. Furthermore, these thin, filmy type of bags are all marked too with numbers. I did not know that! Frankly, I never looked. So, filmy bags from toilet papers, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, and etc. can all be recycled. What’s even better is that supermarkets are required to take plastic bags, not just their plastic grocery bags but other plastic bags as such, to be recycled. Again, I did not know that.

Here’s an excerpt from American Chemistry Council‘s website.

Plastic grocery bags are fully recyclable and the number of recycling programs is increasing daily. Nationwide over 812 million pounds of bags and film were recycled in 2006 – up 24 percent from 2005. According to EPA’s data, about 10 percent of plastic bags and film were recycled in 2006.

Plastic bags can be made into dozens of useful new products, such as building and construction products, low-maintenance fencing and decking, and of course, new bags. There is high demand for this material, and in most areas, demand exceeds the available supply because many consumers are not aware that collection programs are available at local stores.
In recent years, many grocers and retailers have introduced plastic bag collection programs. Consumers should look for a collection bin, usually located at the front of the store. The number of municipal drop-off centers and curbside programs to recycle plastic bags is increasing also. Consumers can locate plastic bag recycling programs in their communities by visiting PlasticBagRecycling

In addition to grocery bags, other plastic retail bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, plastic wrap from products like paper towels and toilet paper, and all bags labeled with recycling codes #2 (HDPE) and #4 (LLDPE) can be included wherever plastic bags are collected for recycling.

This information solved my dilemma. I used to collect the plastic bags from daily newspaper and threw them in my recycling bin for curbside pick ups in the past……hoping that they’d get recycled. But today, I put a bin in my garage for all my filmy plastic bags for me to take to the supermarket. So, there’s my ERA for today!

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