How to Recycle Plastic Bags


Plastic bags are one of the toughest post-consumer packaging materials to recycle. The problem isn't the material itself, often this material is beautiful clean/dry polyethylene, which has a myriad of uses. Plastic bags can be turned into plastic wood for park benches, outdoor decking, irrigation pipes, garbage bags, and other products. The problem is how to get bags from the household kitchen to the plastic re-processor efficiently. Ideally, we could just toss our bags in the curbside bin along with other recyclables. But this causes lots of problems. On a windy day, the bags blow out of the bins, polluting the environment. In the garbage truck, the bags can get real dirty, reducing their value. At the Material Recovery Facility, the bags get caught in the sorting equipment, causing shut-downs and requiring expensive manual labor. While everybody wants to recycle plastic bags, nobody wants to lose money doing it. So a system was setup to allow people to take bags back to certain retail stores. About 2% of bags make it to this stream.

So bags are bad, because of their thin and flimsy shape. What if their shape wasn't so thin and flimsy? What if their shape was more like, say, a hockey puck? Would they still be a problem for the recycling stream? We don't think so.

Obaggo Recycling is working on a kitchen appliance that will thermoform your clean/dry polyethylene bags into a rigid puck, which you will eventually be able to toss into your recycling bin. But we will need your help to make it happen. Beginning in May, we will be launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to bring the first production run of this appliance to market. Our hope is that with the ease and convenience of recycling plastic bags and film in the curbside stream, a large part of the other 98% of bags will find their way to the re-processor.

Obaggo believes that the best way to recycle plastic bags is to puck 'em. Please help us make it happen.

For more information, visit www.obaggo.com, or contact us at david.new@obaggo.com.

#sustainability #plasticbags #recycling

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