The majority of reusable bags currently in use in California are made from non-woven Polypropylene (PP) or fabrics such as cotton. While PP is technically recyclable, currently there is no recycling infrastructure for PP bags in the state of California. Furthermore, although cotton bags are technically compostable, there is no composting facility currently available. Hence, both PP and cotton reusable bags must be disposed of in the trash or landfill.
A very small percentage (much less than 5%) of reusable bags are made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) or Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). These bags are recyclable via the In-Store Recycling Bin at your local retail store.
Environmentalists like to say that the recycling rate for plastic grocery bags is only 5% and therefore they should be banned. But the recycling rate for reusable bags is closer to 0%. Should they not be banned?
- Self-checkout, plastic bag bans trigger shoplifting debate (capoliticalnews.com)