Plastic Bag Recycling

ReStore is Rhode Island's plastic bag recycling program. RI was the first state in the nation to provide comprehensive plastic bag recycling, starting in 2005. Plastic bags are NOT to be placed in your recycling bin. You can find recycling containers for them in most RI supermarkets, big-box retailers, and pharmacies. And don't worry about separating your bags to return them to their original store-there's no need. Just bring all of your plastic bags, regardless of where they came from, to any ReStore container.

Which plastic bags and films are recyclable?

Two good rules of thumb for determining which materials are accepted in the ReStore Program are (1) it should be clean and dry, and (2) it should stretch, at least a little (try this with your thumb). EXCEPTIONS? Clingy food wrap, fertilizer/pesticide bags, and those labeled "biodegradable" or "compostable" are not accepted.

The following are major examples of what is accepted in ReStore containers:

  • Shopping bags
  • Sandwhich bags (pull any hard zippers off first).
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Bread/bagel bags
  • Produce bags
  • Mattress bags
  • Shrink wrap from cases of beverages
  • Electronic overwrap
  • Paper towel and toilet paper overwrap
  • Airpacks (from shipped packages)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Pellet/Firewood bags (turned inside out and shaken to ensure they are empty).

Please do not recycle any bags or film in your bin or cart at home, or set recyclables out in plastic bags. Only shredded paper should be double-bagged in see-through plastic bags prior to recycling.