What about recycling? Isn’t that a better solution?

According to CalRecycle no more than 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled, in spite of the fact that there are bins at all major grocery stores, large retailers and pharmacies. The majority of bags are never recycled or are disposed of improperly; most end up in landfills or waterways. Because we are unable to recycle the bags locally, our only option is to dispose of them into the gray trash containers (which go to the landfill); however many end up in the blue recycling bins, ultimately jamming recycling equipment, resulting in costly work stoppages.

The approximately 1,000 pounds of plastic bags that Napa Recycling and Waste Services (NRWS) collects each day are baled and have little value. This low-grade film plastic has no domestic market and is shipped to Asia, at a cost that is at much more than their value, according to NRWS. There is another potential cost beyond transporting them to another country as well: processing in Asia may be subject to fewer environmental controls, adding further strain on the environment.

Show All Answers

1. What is the City of Napa’s definition of a single-use plastic bag?
2. Isn’t there a law that requires me to put alcoholic beverages into a carryout bag?
3. What other communities regulate plastic bags?
4. What damage do plastic bags cause?
5. What about recycling? Isn’t that a better solution?
6. How will I carry my groceries home? I need those free bags.
7. What is the benefit to me? What is the benefit to the community?
8. Why is there a 10-cent fee on recycled paper carryout bags? Is it a tax?
9. What types of retail establishments are required to charge 10 cents for each recycled paper bag?
10. I use plastic bags to pick up my pet’s waste. What will I use instead?
11. Do bag bans really work?