Is Plastic Wrap Recyclable? (And Is It Biodegradable?)

Plastic wraps are now a popular option for packaging things. Today, we can hardly imagine packaging without going back to plastic wraps. That is just how prominent they have become.

However, that is hardly our concern here. Instead, our concern involves what to do when it is time to dispose of them. Do you just throw them away? Can you re-use them for other purposes? Are plastic wraps recyclable?

All these are important questions that we must ask ourselves if we plan to be fair to our environment. Well, we get that answering these questions can appear quite difficult. So that is why we have got this article for you.

In this post, we will tell you all about recycling plastic wrap. Precisely, we will let you know if you can recycle it. We will also let you know if it is biodegradable. You will also get to learn about other things you can do with these wraps.

Can You Recycle Plastic Wrap?

You must have seen plastic wraps all across various stores. They have become quite useful as packaging material all across the world. But you cannot hold on to them forever. Sooner than later, you will need to dispose of them.

In this instance, it becomes a question of how to dispose of these plastic wraps. Well, one option that you should consider is recycling. However, you might just be unsure about whether or not it is possible to get this done. Well, that is what we are here to clarify.

When it comes to plastic wraps, they generally fall under categories #2 and #4, depending on their makeup. In turn, in most cases, you can recycle them. Usually, these materials get turned into composite lumber amidst a wide range of other products.

So, if your grocery bag, newspaper bag, bread bag, produce bag, and dry-cleaning bag all fall under #2 and #4, then you can recycle them. All you need to do is ensure that the bags are clean and dry. Once this is done, then you can go on to recycle your plastic wraps.

Usually, all you need to do is contact the recycling center close to you and determine if they offer plastic wrap recycling. If they do, they will instruct you about the means to get these wraps to them. You can then follow their instructions and get the plastic wrap to them for recycling. Great right?

You can also opt for store drop-off. This is one of the most effective ways to recycle your plastic wraps. Usually, the most store accepts plastic wraps for recycling. Yes, the store where you got it. All you need to do is go to the recycling bin designated for it and drop it off for recycling.

So, if you are looking for the best way to protect the environment, recycling your plastic wraps is one of the best ways to achieve this. This brings loads of benefits to the environment. Do not worry; as you read on, you will understand just why this is important.

However, you need to keep in mind that it might just be impossible to recycle your plastic wraps in some cases. For example, you cannot involve cases where the plastic wrap is used for cling or food wraps and pre-packaged food bags. In this case, the wraps will be soiled, and it can contaminate the whole recycling process.

Is Plastic Wrap Biodegradable?

The next question you have probably got going in your head is whether or not these plastic wraps are biodegradable. We understand that the environment is important to you, hence, this question. Well, we will tell you what you need to know.

However, just before that, it is important that you fully understand the meaning of biodegradability. So, what do we mean when we say something is biodegradable?

Well, biodegradability has to do with the capacity of a material to break down thanks to the efforts of microorganisms like bacteria. Precisely, when deposited in an area, usually landfills, biodegradability allows the material to break down such that it ceases to exist.

Typically, when a material is nonbiodegradable, it means that it will continue to accumulate in the area without breaking down. In turn, it will cause various forms of pollution, which is bad for the environment.

Also, you must note that material might, in fact, break down eventually. However, when it takes a considerable period before it does, such as hundreds of years, it will still be regarded as nonbiodegradable.

So, now that we have cleared up the meaning of biodegradability let us get back to whether your plastic wrap is biodegradable.

Well, we hate to break it to you. However, your plastic wrap is nonbiodegradable. While it will eventually break down, it takes hundreds of years before this happens. In turn, it constitutes a significant source of pollution in the world.

For instance, in cases where the weather is hot, these wraps might burn and cause the release of toxic fumes into the environment. In other cases, thanks to rainfall and erosion, they will find themselves in various water bodies and constitute pollutants to aquatic life.

This is why you must take action by opting to recycle if you decide to use plastic wraps. This way, you are not part of those contributing to the destruction of the environment.

Is Plastic Wrap Compostable?

Next up, you just might be wondering if your plastic wraps are compostable? This is especially important for you if you have got a garden in your home. We will tell you what you need to know just after we explain what it means for the material to be compostable.

When we talk about the material being compostable, it means it can add nutrients to plants. Usually, this is by adding the material to a compost mix. Following this, the material breakdown after which it is applied to the soil to boost growth.

As you can guess, whatever material will qualify as compostable needs to have a natural origin. Precisely, it must not be synthetic. This is because synthetic materials are usually made of chemicals that can be harmful to the soil and your plant.

So, back to plastic wraps. As you can tell, plastic wraps come from plastic. And you need no one to tell you that plastic is a synthetic material. In fact, they did not exist a century ago and were just merely created by men to satisfy a variety of their needs.

As such, your plastic wraps are not compostable. So, please do not try to add them to your compost mix. It will only do more harm and no good to your plants. So, go for compostable materials like paper, leaves, tree bark.

Can I Put Plastic Wrap in the Recycle Bin?

Since we have told you that you can recycle your plastic wraps in most cases, you just might be wondering how to go about it. One thing that must have come to your mind is disposing of the wraps in your recycle bin. However, just before you decide to do that, you should stop for a minute.

Once you stop, you need to ask yourself a very vital question. Can you put your plastic wraps in the recycle bin? Well, if you have done that, here is what you need to know.

You cannot put your plastic wraps in just any recycle bin. This is because the process of recycling plastic wraps is different from the recycling of most other materials. Even more, not all recycling centers agree to recycle plastic wraps.

As such, putting those plastic wraps with other recyclable materials like cans and paper will cause trouble for both you and the recycling center. So, please avoid just placing your plastic wraps in the recycle bin.

So, here is what you need to do. First, look up the internet for the nearest recycling center that accepts plastic wraps. You can use the recycling locator to do this. Once you find them, you then need to contact them.

Usually, they will have a means of accepting these plastic wraps for recycling. You might need to go to their designated recycling bin close to you. In other cases, you might need to mail the plastic wraps to them. However, they will usually tell you whatever the case, and you can get the recycling done the right way.

What Can You Do with Old Plastic Bags?

If you have got some plastic bags, there are various things that you can do with them once they have served their primary purpose. You should not just think of disposing of them. Instead, you can apply them to some great use. Here is what you need to know about your options.

1. Package Your Valuables

One of the things you can do with your plastic bag is to package your valuables. This allows you to rescue your plastic bags from heading to the dustbin while you put them to good use. What you need to do is identify the valuables that you want to protect.

You can then wrap your bag around these materials. However, the good news does not just stop there. It also ensures that you don’t have to worry about materials like Styrofoam which will only increase your waste.

2. Save Your Rollers and Paint Brushes for Later

If you have got a painting job, you can go in with your plastic bags. This will ensure that you can take your deserved break without having to worry about washing the rollers or brushes. All you need to do is simple.

You can easily wrap the roller in a plastic bag. Of course, you will need to ensure that the bag is neat. Also, ensure that you wrap it properly, so you do not leave space for air to enter. You can then place the brush into the refrigerator.

With this, you can take your deserved break, return a few hours later, and still meet your brush ready for use.

3. Protect Your Young Plants

Another place where your plastic bag becomes useful is when protecting your young plants. This is especially useful in cases where you are expecting frost. Your plastic bag will come in handy as you can tie the bag around your plant.

This will help you prevent the harsh wind from damaging your plant. You also do not have to worry about the chill once you use the plastic bag.


Across the world and particularly in the USA, plastic wraps are now very popular. But, unfortunately, while you might think they are indispensable, they contribute a great deal to pollution. Even worse, they are made from chemicals that are believed to be potentially harmful. So, in turn, while we continue to use it, it becomes necessary to think of how we can protect our environment.

This is where recycling comes in, and luckily for us, we can recycle most of the plastic wraps we use. You might have had doubts about this before. Now, not anymore. However, remember that you must pay attention to how.

So, follow the tips we have provided before and continue to contribute to a safe environment.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.