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Summer tips for properly disposing of plastic bags

Summer activities increase plastic bag use

and impact recycling efforts

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA (July 7, 2022) – Barbecues, beaches and boating – summer is filled with so many fun activities! Longer days and beautiful weather mean more time outdoors, but it can also mean increased waste. Whether you’re packing for a trip or a picnic in the park, it’s important to remain mindful of recycling. Reusing plastic bags can help to make your on-the-go summer easier while also helping to reduce, reuse, and recycle that collection of grocery bags we all have in our homes.

Plastic bags should never be discarded in recycling carts or used to contain recyclables placed in the carts because they can get caught in the machinery that processes recyclable materials and increase the risk of injury to workers who must remove them. Plastic bags should be reused as much as possible and then returned to stores for recycling. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it easy!

If you’re heading outdoors, pack snacks in plastic grocery bags. Hitting the beach or the pool? Kids love to swim! Reuse the bags to hold wet towels and clothes. Backyard or beach barbecues require a lot of toting. Transport condiments, plates, utensils, and other goods in them. Don’t discard bags in recycling bins at the beach!

In the car, save the tube from a roll of paper towels and stuff plastic bags in it to store them until you need them. Collect trash while on the road, pack toiletries and souvenirs, or keep your shoes and dirty clothes separate from other items in your suitcase. They can also be used to keep your car tidy while transporting plants from the store and help tote them to your garden.

Plastic bags have many uses in the yard. Tie a couple to the lawn mower to pick up litter and dog messes as you mow. Stuff a few in your pocket to tote fresh veggies and to store pulled weeds and debris. Line hanging baskets with them to help hold moisture. You can also use them to save money on restuffing your outdoor pillows and cushions and by braiding them into outdoor mats.

You can also braid them into sleeping mats to donate to the homeless. The possibilities are endless!

Let these ideas inspire your family to find new ways to help save money, energy and other resources for you and the environment. Recycle plastic bags by returning them to collection bins at the store. Remember to recycle smart as you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer. No plastic bags in recycling carts!

Please visit,, for more ideas and information about how to properly recycle in Southwest Florida.

About Lee County Solid Waste

Ranked first in the state for recycling in 2022, Lee County was recently awarded an Outstanding Achievement award by the State of Florida reflecting the enthusiasm and dedication to recycling shown by its businesses and residents. Consistently placed in the top five for the last decade, Lee County Solid Waste continues to implement programs that make recycling, resource recovery and responsible waste management easier. The department pledges to strive for even more effective and sustainable solutions for the future. Learn more at

About Charlotte County Solid Waste Division

The Charlotte County Solid Waste Division ensures that the 190,000 residents that call Charlotte County home, have a variety of convenient and safe ways to dispose of their recycling and waste. The Solid Waste Division owns and operates two mini transfer and recycling facilities conveniently located within the county for residential disposal of household hazardous waste, yard debris, construction debris, and a convenient drop off location for recyclables. The Solid Waste Division also owns and operates a full-scale landfill processing up to 300,000 tons of waste annually and collects enough energy from the gas collection system to power 3000 homes for one year. Charlotte County has been awarded for its efforts in recycling by FDEP for exceeding the state mandated recycling goal of 75% and achieving the highest traditional recycling rate in the state of Florida!

About Collier County Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division   

Collier County aims to deliver best value, high quality, sustainable solid waste management services that meet our customers’ expectations. Collier County has a recycling rate of 75 percent. Collier County aspires to lead in environmental stewardship with the goal to keep our beaches, lakes and natural preserves pristine for future generations. Collier County educates residents on the importance of sustainability, recycling and preserving paradise. For more information, visit

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