Plastic film, plastic wrappers, plastic grocery bags

September 13, 2017

 

Indeed the triple threat of plastics . . . the lightweight films catch wind, float downstream, and trick wildlife into believing they're food.  Plastic is not photo-degradable, or biodegradable for thousands of years.  Long after many of us will be here.  A simple action on your part can significantly reduce its impact on our environment: Recycling

 

There are 20 locations in less than 10 miles from downtown Wilmington to recycle plastic grocery bags and other thin plastic films.  Included are Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Walmart and Target.  You can drop them while running errands!  For a location near you and a list of recyclable plastics click here

 

Thin plastics found on pillows, fresh produce, or a laptop cannot be put into commingled recycling.  If they do end up at New Hanover's recycling facility, this plastic jams the machines and workers must cease operations until the plastic is removed.  More common items are:

  • bubble wrap 

  • dry cleaning bags

  • air pillows (online shoppers)

  • shipping envelopes

  • bread bags

  • newspaper bags

New Hanover County's Director of Environmental Management Joe Suleyman invited Star News to take a look at what happens when plastic grocery bags end up in the commingled recycling.

 

For another solution try reusable grocery bags.  They are easy to make from old T-shirts, and are typically found hanging near the check out line for a dollar or less.  Some cities have banned plastic bag use altogether, or require store owners to charge a fee for them; to encourage customer's transition to reusable bags. 

Seaside residents typically agree with plastic bag bans because sea turtles mistake their shape for jellyfish in the ocean (their main diet).  The litter deters tourism, it also has harmful effects on other marine life.  I'm sure you've seen horror videos of an animal being choked, we don't like those either!  

 

More on North Carolina's plastic bag ban click here.

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