My sister recently asked me whether or not she can recycle the shrink wrap she gets on packages sometimes. It used to be that most places wouldn’t accept “soft” plastics like shrink wrap, but that’s no longer true. As recycling programs have become more popular and cost-effective, they’ve expanded in scope as well. For example, Bloomington now accepts plastics in categories 1-6 (that little number inside the recycling symbol on the bottom of most plastic goods).
I did some digging and learned that shrink wrap falls into category 4: LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene. If your local recycling will take 4, as Bloomington’s does, then you can recycle your shrink wrap as normal.
I also learned that some people shrink wrap their boats to protect them in the off-season! Since some places still don’t accept category 4 plastics as recycling, you can buy huge bags that are then shipped to “Dr Shrink,” a manufacturer of boat shrink wrapping. I hear that there are similar programs for airlines as well.
The important part is that you can recycle shrink wrap just as easily as anything else (which might not be that easy if you have a traitor in the house).
I actually had fun looking up all of that, so I’ll extend my Google-fu to non-family as well. Is there anything about living sustainably that you don’t quite get or just don’t know? Leave a comment or send me a message and I’ll do my best to find an answer. Until the, keep recycling that shrink wrap!