#BYOBags. Plastic bags and plastic film should NOT be placed in your curbside recycling. Instead, these items can be recycled at many retail locations.
Do not place plastic bags, mesh food bags, pet food bags or plastic film in curbside recycling.
Bags and film get tangled in the sorting machines at the recycling facilities and cause major problems for the recycling process.
Say no to plastic bags. Reduce plastic waste by bringing your own reusable bags to the store and by refusing to accept a plastic bag at the checkout. See our waste reduction tips and ideas for remembering your reusable bags. Learn more about Cuyahoga County's #BYOBags initiative and the environmental benefits of choosing reusable bags.
Plastic shopping bags may be recycled at some retail locations. Check with local stores to confirm the types plastic bags and film they will accept as the list may vary.
A collection bin can usually be found near the store entrance or the customer service desk. At the retail locations, recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags. In the store collection bin, recycle:
- Retail, newspaper, dry cleaning, bread, produce, and other plastic bags labeled #2 and #4
- Zip close food storage bags (clean and dry)
- Furniture and electronics wrap
- Plastic cereal box liners/cereal bags
- Plastic shipping envelopes, bubble wrap and air pillows (remove all labels and deflate; no mixed materials envelopes)
- Product wrap (used on paper towels, diapers, bathroom tissue, water bottles)
- Any film packaging or bag that has the How2Recycle label
For more details, a list of 'NO' items, guidelines for acceptable items, and a location search, visit How2Recycle. As of November 17, 2023, the plastic bag and film recycling diectory has been taken offline. See the ABC News story.
Plastic bags are recycled into many different products. Most bags and film are turned into composite lumber, but they can be reprocessed into small pellets or post consumer resin, which can be used to make a variety of new products, such as new bags, pallets, containers, crates and pipe. Learn more about NexTrex products made from recycled plastic film.
Do not place empty pet food or bird seed bags in curbside or drop-off recycling. Find a reuse or place them in the regular trash.
See more details about how to recycle in Cuyahoga County or learn more about the recycling process.
Looking to recycle, donate or dispose of other items? Use the dark blue 'What Do I Do With?' search bar at the top of every page of this website. Allow location services or use the city drop-down to find opportunities in your local area.