In the midst of hand washing all the dishes my lame apartment dishwasher can’t handle, I remembered last week’s pasta salad remained in my refrigerator. I threw out the leftovers, which were basically stale looking chicken and hardened pasta noodles and washed the heavy blue bowl they’d chilled in all week.
I stopped short of tossing the plastic cling wrap that covered it into the garbage, sure it had to be recyclable, but not so certain how.
Do you recycle your plastic wrap? Once I started doing some research into whether it was possible, I began to doubt that even everyone who recycles does. I found information all over the Internet that said it isn’t recyclable. Even Glad says, “Like other plastic wraps, GLAD Press’n Seal wrap is not recyclable.”
But I found other sites that said since plastic wrap is made from #4 plastic, it can be recycled anywhere #4 accepted. Then I found some resources that said it is, but that it needs to be neatly folded. Really? Really.
It seems to me that it should be pretty cut and dry and either it can be recycled or it can’t. I called two local municipal recycling facilities. When I got in touch with Royal Oak Recycling in Royal Oak, Mich., I was told they don’t accept plastic wrap. However, I had better luck when I contacted The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County. When I called there, I was told it is accepted, along with plastic bags. When I asked about whether it needed to be folded or anything, like I mentioned above, the person who answered said no. She only suggested keeping it all together and putting it inside a plastic bag.
Because I keep reading information that says plastic bags are usually either #2 or #4, I also asked if it matters. She said it all goes together there, so plastic wrap can be put in bags with either number.
Many grocery stores now offer plastic bag recycling, even if no other kind. So if your recycling facility doesn’t accept them (or plastic wrap), you can see if one of those stores that recycle the bags will take the wrap as well.
It’s cool and even a little surprising to know that Glad and many others are wrong and that plastic wrap is one more thing that’s possible to throw into our recycle bins instead of garbage cans. As the varying opinions online and different outcomes of my phone calls proved though, it’s best to check with your recycling center first.