Plastic bags are a type of film plastic and should not be put in household recycling.

You can recycle plastic bags and other film plastics at large stores, shopping malls, and medium to large chain stores instead of putting them in your household trash.

Businesses must provide plastic bag and film plastic recycling for consumers if they are:

  • Stores with 10,000 or more square feet of retail space, or
  • Chains that operate five or more stores with greater than 5,000 square feet of retail space

All film plastic recycling bins should be easily visible. Plastic bags and other film plastics that are being returned should be free of debris. 

Stores are also required to allow customers to use reusable shopping bags and must make them available for purchase. The City and State do not set prices for reusable bags.

Learn more about what types of film plastics can be returned to retail locations for recycling.

Learn more about plastic bag recycling requirements and resources for businesses.

You can report a store that does not accept plastic bags or other film plastics for recycling.

By Email

By Phone

  • Agency: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Division: Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
  • Phone Number: (518) 402-8706
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

You can get a free reusable bag if you take the Zero Waste Pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle trash.

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