How to properly recycle your shopping bag?

Since 2016, the distribution of single-use plastic bags has been prohibited in France. To cope with the enforcement of the anti-waste law, the reusable shopping bag is then a perfect alternative in full expansion.

The use of shopping bags reduces the amount of waste produced.

Shopping bags can be made from paperPPcotton etc. For information, we can use an average up to 10 times a paper bag. As for cotton and PP bags, they can be reused for years.

The materials of the shopping bags are more or less robust, nevertheless for the most part recyclable.

Is your shopping bag too worn out to be reused ? Well, let’s see how to recycle it!

How to recycle a plastic shopping bag?

Although plastic shopping bags are of fossil origin, we explained to you earlier why some of them are more eco-friendly than you think. If we take the example of woven polypropylene, it is 100% recyclable! The same is true for non-woven PP as well as the RPET.

The PP and RPET shopping bags have the advantage of being made entirely of a single material, including the handles. This obviously facilitates their recycling.

These already contain more than 70% recycled material. Particularly robust, only the addition of 5% virgin fiber can be enough to make a new product.

For the moment, PP shopping bags are the easiest to recycle!

Have you reused your plastic shopping bag for years and it is now too worn out? You just have to drop it in your yellow bin so that it is recycled.

Recycling your paper bag

Did you know that a paper bag can be recycled up to 7 times?

In addition to being able to be reused, a paper bag can be recycled several times. Beyond that, the fiber becomes too damaged to be recycled again.

The paper recycling process breaks down as follows:

  • collection and sorting;
  • grinding to separate cellulose fibers from impurities;
  • deinking;
  • drying of the paper pulp obtained which is then put on a reel;
  • recycling into new products: bags, packaging, newspapers etc.

To help reduce our waste, be sure to throw your paper bags in the recycling bin when it is too worn out to be reused. Thus, your shopping bag can be recycled and used again!

Recycling a textile shopping bag: how to do it?

You will certainly recognize the famous cotton bag among the most widespread! Reusable and customizable, it has become essential.

Cotton is a biobased material (of plant origin) increasingly used for the manufacture of shopping bags. However, as we mentioned in our previous article, this material is not so eco-friendly. In addition to the need for a large amount of water and pesticides during its cultivation, cotton also has a major drawback: its low recycling rate.

Why is it difficult to recycle cotton ?

Firstly, cotton is often mixed with other textile fibers such as polyester. This composition then complicates recylcling of the product.

There are also still few recycling channels in France. Even if cotton can be  recycled in Europe, it would be necessary to create sectors nearby to reduce the carbon footprint linked to transport.

Finally, we must stress the need to add virgin fiber to the manufacture of a new cotton product. Recycling cotton is more environmentally friendly than its initial production, it is nevertheless not as sustainable as we think if we take into account its end of life.

Do you want to part with your cotton bag? Do not throw it in the household garbage. Find a collection center near you!

To reduce our waste, the use and especially the reuse of shopping bags is proving to be a good solution.

It is nevertheless necessary to push our reflection further by thinking of the end of product life. Reuse, upcycle then recycle!

No product is endlessly recyclablerecycling is not the solution. We need to reduce our overall consumption.

Take the example of shopping bags: we do not need to have a large quantity oh them left in our cupboards. Think eco-responsible! Better to have less and use them as much as possible.

Finally, remember that biobased materials such as cotton are not necessarily the most eco-friendly materials. In any case, make sure to always favor recycled materials for a circular economy. The planet will be much better!