Plastic shopping bags are among the worst contaminants that can be placed in your recycling container.
If you collect your recycled items in a plastic bag, empty the contents into the recycling cart. If you don't, sorters will have to break open the bag to remove the recyclables. Plastic bags also jam sorting machines. Both of these scenarios increase overall costs for recycling processors and - in turn - to local governments.
Plastic bags can be reused and recycled. Most grocery stores accept plastic shopping bags in convenient bins at the entrance.
Other types of plastic bags (e.g., pre-washed salad bags, frozen food) cannot be recycled. Learn more about what can be recycled here.