Keep Southwest Florida Recycling Plastic Bag Free

Recycling facilities are not able to process recyclables when they are in plastic bags. Plastic bags can also get caught in the machinery that processes the recyclable material. Charlotte, Collier and Lee Counties are launching a campaign today reminding the Southwest Florida community that ‘Plastic is okay, but plastic bags, no way!’ and to ‘Keep SWFL Recycling Plastic Bag Free’ by keeping bags out of recycle carts.

“This is a little something we can each do that will have a great impact on recycling and our environment,” said Doug Whitehead, Lee County Solid Waste director.

“Trashing bags is a win for the environment and for residents and visitors who enjoy Southwest Florida,” added Vanessa Caporale, Collier County Waste Reduction and Recycling Team. “The Keep SWFL Recycling Plastic Bag Free initiative also aims to improve recycling efficiency by reducing the time recycling workers have to spend removing plastic bags from jammed machinery.”

Waste goes up significantly on holidays and Super Bowl Sunday holds the win as the highest day for waste. “By launching this campaign on Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest day for trash, we hope to get people to engage in habits where they will dispose of plastic bags properly,” said Lorenzo Daetz, Charlotte County Public Works Solid Waste Division.

Here’s how you can help:

When in doubt, throw it out. Place plastic bags in the trash, not in recycling.
Try reusable shopping bags instead of plastic.

Collect plastic bags in an easy to grab spot so you remember to return them on your next shopping trip. Grocers offer drop-off bins for used grocery bags.

Be creative. Find other uses for plastic bags rather than discarding them.
Encourage the entire family to get involved. Explain why there are no more bags in the home’s recycling cart and how they can help.

Like our pages on Facebook:,,
Share our Keep SWFL Plastic Bag Free posts to help spread the word and improve recycling efforts.
Use #plasticokbagsnoway on all social media platforms to show us how you’re helping to Keep SWFL Plastic Bag Free.

Visit,, for more ideas, information about how to properly manage recyclables, and what you can do to help Keep Southwest Florida Plastic Bag Free.
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.