Recycle plastic bags by bringing them to a drop-off bin near you (picture courtesy of

Plastic Bag Recycling

Please remember that plastic bags of any kind should NOT be included in your curbside dual-stream recycling bin. Bags wrap around and jam recycling equipment, causing delays and shutdowns that increase our recycling costs. 

You can recycle plastic bags by bringing them to a film recycling location near you. Most retail and grocery stores have a plastic bag recycling bin available to the public as required by law. See list of acceptable and non acceptable plastic bags below.


Plastic Bag Laws

Effective October 19, 2020 any person required to collect tax in New York State must not distribute any plastic carryout bags to its customers unless such bags are exempt as provided for in the Bag Waste Reduction Law

Effective April 22, 2017, Long Beach businesses are required to charge 5 cents for paper carryout bags. This ordinance is still in effect after the passing of the Bag Waste Reduction Law.

Effective January 1, 2009, New York State law requires certain retail and grocery stores to set up a plastic carry out bag recycling program for their customers. Stores with 10,000 square feet or more of retail space and chains which operate five or more stores with greater than 5,000 square feet of retail space, must have receptacles for the public to recycle their plastic films.

Why Recycle Film Plastics?

Plastic is made from oil, a non-renewable resource. When you properly recycle your film plastics, they can end up as new bags, containers, crates, pipe, and composite lumber for making decks, benches, and playground sets. You are also helping to conserve natural resources and keep our environment clean

New York State law requires certain retail and grocery stores to have a plastic bag recycling receptacle available to the public. For example, our local Stop & Shop on 85 E. Park Avenue has a plastic bag recycling bin in the main entrance lobby.

Reduce Before Recycling


Recycling plastic bags is preferable to sending them to a landfill, but remember that THE BEST WAY TO REDUCE WASTE IS TO NOT CREATE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Reduce plastic waste from the start by shopping with a reusable bag, and look for products with minimal or no plastic packaging. Visit our Waste Reduction webpage for more tips and resources on reducing your waste footprint.



ACCEPTABLE Film Plastics for Retail Recycling

Note: All materials must be CLEAN and dry and ALL food residue should be removed. Receipts should also be removed.

  • retail, carryout, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry cleaning bags
  • zip top food storage bags
  • air pillows found inside shipping packages (must be deflated)
  • bubble wrap
  • plastic wrap on cases of water, soda, paper towels, napkins, etc
  • furniture and electronic wrap
  • plastic cereal bags (but if it tears like paper, do not include it)
  • any film packaging or bag with the "How2Recycle" label indicating that it is plastic film and can be returned to store drop off

UNACCEPTABLE Items for Retail Recycling

  • compostable bags
  • food containers
  • salad bags
  • frozen food bags
  • six-pack rings
  • chip bags
  • snack/candy wrappers