Plastic Bags and Other Film Plastics

How Do I Tell If My Film Plastic Is Recyclable?

The following information will provide a guide to decide whether or not your film plastics are recyclable. The Municipality has also developed a printable Film Plastic Decision Tree to help sort film plastics at home. Click the following link to print yours today: Film Plastic Decision Tree [PDF - 114 KB]

Is My Film Plastic Recyclable at CVRD Recycling Centres?

1) RECYCLABLE - Film Plastics labelled with #2 or #4. These plastics are made from pure polyethylene resin, which is recyclable.

2) NOT RECYCLABLE - Film Plastics that are labelled biodegradable or compostable. This includes those that are labelled with #2 or #4. Biodegradable items are designed to break down. Therefore, the material cannot be used to create new products since they will not last. Film plastics with these labels must be reused as long as possible and then sent to the landfill.

3) NOT RECYCLABLE - Film Plastics that crinkles loudly when it is handled. Think of the sound that the plastic packaging for crackers or cereal makes when it is crumpled. These plastics are not recyclable because they are made with multiple layers of different types of plastics and currently, there is no efficient method for separating these layers for recycling. Fortunately, some manufacturers are starting to make recyclable 'crinkly' plastics! If you see your cereal bag is labelled with #2 or #4 it is likely accepted in the film plastic bin.

4) NOT RECYCABLE - Film plastic that is thick or stiff. Plastic that fits into his category include the packaging that comes around a new set of sheets or duvets. For the same reasons as the 'crinkly' plastic, thick plastics are made using multi-laminates that cannot be separated for recycling.

5) NOT RECYCLABLE - Film plastics that contained pre-packaged perishable foods. There are multiple reasons why these plastics are not recyclable. First, plastics that are used to package perishable foods are often made from multi-laminate that has specially designed layer to keep food fresh. Unfortunately, like the crinkly and thick plastics, these layers cannot be separated for recycling. In addition, residue from raw meat and other peishable food can be a health risk to the people who work at recycling facilities.

6) NOT RECYCLABLE - Film plastic that is silvery or metallic. Sometimes, film plastics are lined with a metallic lining to keep products fresh. Unfortunately, these items are not recyclable because they are also multi-laminates.

If you follow these 6 steps and your film plastic is still recyclable, it is accepted at either MMBC Recycling Depots or CVRD Recycling Centres. The next step is deciding which stream the film plastic belongs in.

7) Did the item come as packaging or as a product when it was first bought? Or, more simply, did you end up with the plastic because it was packaging for something else that you bought? If so, it is considered 'packaging' and can be dropped of in the Plastic Bag and Overwrap Bin at MMBC Recycling Depots. On the other hand, if the plastic was the actual item you bought (i.e. zip-lock bags or garbage bags), it is considered a 'product' and can be dropped off in the Commercial Film Plastic Bin at Bings Creek or Peerless Road Recycling Centres.

*Please ensure that all film plastic is dry, clean and free of stickers or receipts.