There is much confusion over what types of plastic bags or wrappings are recyclable. We use the term “film plastic”, but many people do not understand what that means. Film plastic is thin stretchable plastic used mainly in bags or packaging. If you press your finger against it, it will stretch. Items that are recyclable with which most people are already familiar are grocery bags, bread bags, and newspaper bags. However, plastic wrapping of products or dry cleaning, cereal bags, and ziplock or other re-sealable bags are also accepted. Bubble wrap is film plastic and accepted but should be popped before being placed in the bins. Plastic wrap used for covering food is accepted as long as it is clean. Actually, all materials should be clean, dry, and free of food residue.
While we encourage people to use re-usable bags when purchasing produce at the grocery store, plastic produce packaging and bags are accepted for recycling. We still encourage groceries to be carried home in re-usable bags (however, this is only possible if you pack them yourself at your car because of Covid) or we encourage you to ask for paper bags. We understand there is now a shortage of paper bags throughout the country, and our local Jewels no longer have paper bags with handles, so many people are being forced into plastic bags.
While film plastic is recyclable in boxes in the entry ways of many grocery stores, we would like people to be aware that the Village of Northbrook benefits by collecting film plastic. Bins are available behind the Village Hall. Every time the Village collects more than 500 pounds of plastic in a six month span, we are awarded a park bench made of recycled plastic. We already have one bench that was installed outside the community garden behind Village Hall. We have submitted a request for our second bench and are currently working towards a third bench.
We encourage people to refuse single use plastic, whether it be hard plastic or film plastic. If you must use single use plastic, please recycle. While film plastic is accepted in many places, please consider benefitting the Village by recycling your film plastic behind the Village Hall. Let’s see how many benches we can procure for the Village residents to enjoy.