Starting August 1, the San Antonio Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) will no longer accept single-use plastic bags in the blue recycling cart, even if they are bundled together. According to SWMD, plastic bags can become entangled with other recyclable materials, rendering them non-recyclable.

This decision to stop recycling plastic bags isn’t only for San Antonio, but other cities such as Houston and Dallas. “Of the nation’s ten other largest cities, none of them are accepting plastic bags in the blue cart,” SWMD Deputy Director Josephine Valencia said.

Plastic bags and other plastic films can stick to recycling sorting equipment, causing machinery malfunctions and inefficiencies. San Antonio has kept plastic bags on the recyclable list for several years, but Valencia states “operationally it hasn’t worked.”

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Author: Samuel Rocha IV, Texas Public Radio
Image: City of San Antonio