Paper or plastic?
When Mainers are in the checkout lines at their local grocery or department stores, local landfill managers hope they pick paper bags or bring their own reusable ones, if possible. It's not that the plastic bags can't be recycled, exactly.It’s not that the plastic bags can’t be recycled, exactly. It’s that, despite innovations in recycling technology that make almost any household item recyclable, those darned plastic bags continue to cause headaches for waste management officials.
They can’t be sorted using the same automated equipment that divvies up most everything else thrown into the all-inclusive single-stream recycling bins, and that’s even if the pesky things stay in the bins long enough to make it that far.“
They’re a litter problem, because they’re so light, they blow away [when left in bins] curbside,” said Kevin Roche, general manager of the Portland-based ecomaine, which operates a recycling facility, waste-to-energy plant and landfill.