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Plastic bags and plastic film are considered one of the worst things ever created, from an environmental and ecological perspective — blighting areas only to end up in the mouths of numerous marine and land animals, or just sitting in and filling up landfills for all eternity. 

Recently California voters even chose to ban single use plastic bags in grocery stores in an effort to help remedy the issues.

But what about plastic film? Have you ever wondered what to do with used sandwich, bread, newspaper and dry cleaning bags, toilet paper wrapping, or the plastic packaging around bottled drinks? 

Well, they can all be recycled — just not in your curbside mixed recycling bin. Recology Humboldt County’s operations supervisor Brian Sollom says unfortunately it happens all the time, and is a constant problem.

“The bags get wound up in all the equipment at the end of the conveyor belts,” said Sollom. “That takes time away from the sorting of the materials and they have to shut down the belts to cut those plastic bags that are wrapped around the conveyors, out.”

And since plastic bags and film are also not accepted at Humboldt Waste Management Authority, we hear from Eureka Parks and Recreation’s brand new environmental and conservation opportunities program, known as ECO Eureka, which saw the need to increase convenience and incentive to properly dispose of the plastics.

Now the program is in partnership with the eco-friendly composite decking company known as Trex to collect 500 lbs. of plastic bags and film to get a new bench for a city park or open space.

“It’s cost-effective for them to reward us with something, since we’re supplying the materials to make their product,” said Robin Praszker, Eureka Parks & Recreation Administrative Assistant.

Drop-off locations are at the Adorni Center and Sequoia Park Zoo.