Plastic Recycling sucks…but I’m still excited for Ridwell

Usually when I’m writing a post I’m not conflicted. But in this case I feel funny that I have to admit that plastic recycling sucks and I’m still excited about doing plastic film recycling with Ridwell. 

So in case you haven’t heard plastic recycling is a disaster because there’s so many types of plastic, it degrades with each recycling, and recycling it costs more than making virgin plastic. So while you may think you’re recycling, it could also end up as landfill or incinerated. 

Yet I’m excited to have plastic film recycling with Ridwell. Plastic film is the thin flexible plastic used basically everywhere – plastic shopping bags, bubble wrap, air pillows, frozen food bags, bubble mailers (like amazon uses), dry cleaning bags, bread bags, etc. Plastic film is ubiquitous but difficult to recycle because it clogs sorting machines, gets contaminated, gets loose, and can be difficult to separate from paper. By collecting it separately Ridwell is able to bypass these issues and give it a second life as Trex decking.

Ridwell doesn’t just do plastic film but also clothes, styrofoam, batteries, and rotating categories. Last pick up we had filled a 60 bag of styrofoam, a 13 gallon bag of plastic film, and a handful of batteries. 

Ridwell does cost money (prices vary by area, $14/mo for us) and you could recycle these items without Ridwell for free, but at the expense of time. For example Styro Recycle will take styrofoam for free, but for me it’s an hour round trip and they’re only open weekdays when I’m working. Ideally Ridwell will help you cut down your trash bin size which may balance out the cost. 

Ridwell is in the Seattle/Eastside area now and going to PDX! Check it out from our link and get a free month.

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