Can You Recycle Shrink Wrap?

Shrink wrap is undoubtedly one of the most popular packaging materials. This is because it is really good at holding things together and keeping them dust free. Also, it can be used on almost anything.

So as long as you regularly buy groceries and other household items, you’re going to end up with some shrink wrap in your house.

In fact, you can end up accumulating a lot of it if you don’t know how to properly dispose of it. But can you recycle this material? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this post.

Is shrink-wrap film recyclable?

Yes, shrink-wrap film is usually recyclable, especially the one used for groceries and bread.

Why is a plastic film not recyclable?

Usually, you can’t recycle a plastic film that’s contaminated with food or any other substances – even tape is a contaminant.

Also, you can’t recycle plastic film with most curbside recycling programs because the machines they have can’t handle this soft plastic. It can jam them and cause damage.

Is shrink wrap a single-use plastic?

Yes, shrink wrap is a single-use plastic.

How long does it take for shrink wrap to biodegrade?

Since shrink-wrap is made of PVC, it usually takes more than 450 years to biodegrade.

Is shrink wrap bad for the environment?

Yes, shrink-wrap is bad for the environment. It contributes to plastic pollution, especially since it can be difficult to find a recycling plant that will take it.

How to properly recycle shrink wrap?

In some areas, you can get a recycler to come to pick bales of shrink-wrap film from your home. But in most cases, you’ll have to get the shrink wrap to the recycler yourself.

The easiest way to do this is to drop it off at large retail stores that recycle shrink wrap, film, plastic bags, and other items.

These include Walmart and Target. They usually have a bin near the entrance for you to throw your wrap in. If you don’t have any such stores near you, you can use Earth 911’s recycling locator.

Whichever way you go though, ensure you clean and dry shrink wrap before recycling it.

How is shrink wrap recycled?

Shrink-wrap is usually recycled using a machine called a baler. It bales up the shrink-wrap into bundles and then periodically picks it up for recycling.

This means that it works in the opposite manner of how a hay baler works. The latter simply wraps film around a product.

Final thoughts

When it comes down to it, you can easily recycle shrink-wrap if you do a bit of research. So don’t ever throw it out in the trash – this will just make things worse for the planet!

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