Walmart accepts plastic bags for recycling, but can you recycle them at the store?

My first step was to go to the recycling guru in the Pokin household: my wife of 33 years.

I didn't know that I put plastic bags in a cloth sack on the side of the refrigerator.They would disappear and the sack would be empty again.

It's not magic after all.She takes them to the recycling bin.Who knew?

Since many recycling centers do not accept plastic bags, why does Walmart accept them?What happens to them when they leave Walmart?

Walmart is not the only major retailer that accepts plastic bags.

There are plastic-bag recycling bins at Lowe's Home Improvement and Target across the street from each other, as well as at the Walmart.

More than 18,000 retail locations across the country have collection bins for plastic bags.They are usually close to the main entrance.

There are more plastic bags in need of recycling than there are people who want to buy them and transform them into various end products.

China closed its borders to imported waste on New Year's Day.panic had already taken hold of countries across Europe and North America as trash began piling up by the ton, with no one having a clue where to dispose of it all.

China has been the world's recycling bin for more than 20 years.At least half of the world's exports of waste plastic, paper and metals were processed by China.The US exported 16 million tons of waste to China.

It has been a good arrangement for China and the exporting countries to get rid of their waste.Last year, China told the World Trade Organization that it was no longer interested in playing the role of global wastebasket.Beijing will be banning the imports of 24 categories of solid waste, including waste plastic.

It was the most severe step China had taken since it began building a green fence.

After the ban took effect, waste management facilities in several countries, including the US, Canada, the U.K. and Germany, are groaning under the weight of trash that no one seems to know what to do with.

All Points Recycling was founded in 2006 by Smith and her mother.

Smith claims that some U.S. recycling companies cheated.The plastic was labeled one thing while it was really something else.Then selling it in China.

"It would have suitcases, garden hoses and above-ground swimming pools, and those are the biggest nightmares for recycling people," she says.

She says that before the ban, China sent inspectors to U.S. recycling plants to keep an eye on what was being recycled.

Jim Von Behren says that the U.S. was selling contaminated material to China.

There are three reasons why recycling centers don't want plastic bags.

The first step in many recycling centers is to sort the waste from the truck.

It takes too much time for workers to open bags to make sure there isn't something else inside.

There is a lot of plastic bags that can only be sold at rock- bottom prices.

You have to gather truckloads of them before you can sell them to a recycler.Maybe a small profit can be made if you are only being paid pennies per pound.

What small recycling center has the space to have all those plastic bags sit, sit and sit in bins, waiting for either the price to go up or some magical tonnage mark to be hit before a bulk sale is profitable?

If half the space of your recycling center is filled with bins of plastic bags, that means less space for recyclables, which can be sold at a reasonable price.

Walmart and Target are major retailers that accept plastic bags.They're big.They have a lot of space.They are able to wait.

Smith says Walmart sells in bulk to Georgia Pacific, one of the world's leading makers of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals.

Walmart has a program in place where customers can drop off their plastic bags for recycling.The bags are sent to a recycler.

Georgia Pacific's first plastic recycling plant was acquired in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to recycling plastic bags.

Smith tells me that a company called RES Polyflow is building a plant in Indiana that will convert 100,000 tons of plastic scrap and waste into 16 million gallons of diesel fuel.

A new market for complex plastic film, flexible packaging and other low value, non-recycled plastic is expected to be created by the facility.

According to a company press release in March, RES Polyflow entered into an agreement with BP for the fuels produced at the plant.

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