SUSTAINABILITY
EFFORTS

HARD-TO-RECYCLE PLASTICS.
EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND EFFORTS.

79% of plastic waste ends up in landfills.1
We’re here to change that.

Some plastics can be difficult to recycle because of their type, complexity, shape or flexibility, and the challenges they create for equipment at recycling facilities. Mixing hard-to-recycle plastics with other materials in curbside recycling bins can jam processing equipment and contaminate entire batches of otherwise readily recyclable plastics, paper, metals, and glass, stripping them of value and causing them all to end up in landfills.

More inclusive.
Less waste.

Recycling symbols found on most plastic products — officially called Resin Identification Codes or RICs — indicate the type of plastic resin they contain, and to those in the know, whether they’re readily recyclable2. Numbers 1 and 2 plastics are the most common and pretty much every Material Recovery Facility (MRF) accepts them. Number 3 is not as common, and many MRFs are not equipped to handle it. Numbers 4 through 7 — including plastic bags, films, and pouches — they’re the “hard-to-recycle” types. They’re the types that don’t belong mixed in with other recyclables in curbside recycling bins. They are why we developed the Hefty® EnergyBag® program.

Little items
that really add up.

You might be surprised about the many everyday items that are accepted in the Hefty® EnergyBag® program, which was designed to complement current recycling efforts. Generally speaking, many of the following items are actually considered hard-to-recycle plastics and can easily be placed into the Hefty® orange bags to be converted into valuable resources. Remember, proper sorting is key and items must be clean and dry. Items include:

  • Chip and snack bags
  • Plastic pet food bags
  • Fruit, vegetable, and salad bags
  • Foam cups, plates, and bowls
  • Foam to-go boxes
  • Packing peanuts
  • Shredded cheese packages
  • Energy bars and candy wrappers
  • Cake mix and other dry powder mix liners
  • Food wrap
  • Pudding cups
  • Straws
  • Stirrers
  • Utensils
  • Cups
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Stand-up pouches
  • Squeezable baby food pouches

1 Parker, Laura (2018, December 20). Here’s How Much Plastic Trash Is Littering the Earth. National Geographic Society. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment

2 American Chemistry Council (n.d.). Plastic Packaging Resins. Retrieved from https://plastics.americanchemistry.com/Plastic-Resin-Codes-PDF