Celebrate America Recycles Day by Ditching Stretchy Plastic Film

Plastic bags of different colors

By Alyssa Armstrong and Keri Greenwalt

This America Recycles Day, November 15, we’re taking on problematic plastic film. Did you know that stretchy plastics (like single-use bags, plastic wrap and shrink wrap) cannot be recycled in your blue cart? These “tanglers” are made of flexible, stretchy material that gets wrapped up in the gears of the machinery at the recycling facility and shuts the system down. You can still recycle these items by dropping them off for recycling at a participating location.

To celebrate America Recycles Day, several of our dedicated Zero Waste Block Leaders are hosting neighborhood plastic film collection events throughout the city. Find a collection event near you on our events page or email us.

For those unable to attend a plastic film recycling event, the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center accepts this material and is open year-round, by appointment only. Plastic film can also be dropped off for recycling at another participating location.

While being diligent about keeping plastic out of the waste stream is an essential part of improving our local and global environment, making simple swaps in your home to avoid single-use plastic is the most sustainable solution. Try making these swaps:

Try this...

Instead of this...

Beeswax wrap Cling wrap
Fabric shopping totes Single-use grocery bags
Silicone food storage bags Zip-top plastic bags
Balled up newspaper Bubble wrap


As part of the U.S. Plastics Pact, the City of Austin is committed to educating the community about plastic film. Learn more about plastic recycling in Austin, and what you can do to make a difference.