EDITORIAL – The horror of separating plastic bags from our recycling

(Image: CFJC Today)

An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IMAGINE, if you will, a household recycling bin. We all have them, right?

We take a pop can and toss it into the bin, because we can return them and get some money back.

Now, imagine a second bin. We take a plastic shopping bag (we shouldn’t use them, but we all do) and toss it in.

Two separate bins. It’s called separation of recyclables. Yet that second bin has a lot of people in a lather.


About Mel Rothenburger (6018 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – The horror of separating plastic bags from our recycling

  1. Yvonne Hummel // July 26, 2017 at 6:02 PM // Reply

    What annoys me the most about this is the fact that the city is saving money here by not caring about recycling soft plastic. But….. do you thing they’ll ever take any savings and pass it on the rest of us? Not a chance!

  2. Unfortunately, all plastic bags are not created equal. In the case of the zip-lock bags, I assume the reason the don’t want them is that there are two different kinds of plastic, hard and soft, in the same bag, and they are processed differently, therefore would have to be separated, creating more work downstream which this system is set up to prevent. One thing that would be nice is if the city picked up the glass and soft plastics separately, as I know some people cannot get to a depot to recycle these and consequently are throwing them away in the trash.

  3. Glenda Miles // July 26, 2017 at 10:04 AM // Reply

    “Plastic Bag” is too general a category. I recently called the city to ask about “Zip Lock Bags” being rejected for recycle and learned that there is also a category of plastic bags called “Crinkle Plastic Bags” that is also rejected. If a bag does not stretch it is not acceptable for recycle at our recycle depots. I sorted an accumulation of plastic bags I had and discovered that half of the bags were crinkle bags — and therefore not acceptable for any kind of recycle in Kamloops.

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