By UW Recycling | Jan 30, 2020
plastic film

What’s plastic film you ask? Plastic film can be a variety of materials including shrink-wrap, bubble wrap and shopping bags.

Effective January 1 2020, UW’s plastic film recycling process has changed. Plastic film is no longer accepted in regular recycling bins and will need to be dropped off at specific locations to be recycled.

What types of plastic film are recyclable?

The easiest way to tell if the plastic film can be recycled is the “stretch test.” If you can stretch the plastic easily with your thumb, it is most likely recyclable.

person stretching plastic filmThe other two requirements are:

  • the film is clean and dry
  • the plastic is not a #7



Check out UW Recycling’s plastic film sign and website for more information.

How do I recycle my film?

To recycle the film, customers will gather their film in either a clear bag or a self-service box and bring it to one of the collection locations.  Collection locations can be found here. Please place the film in the plastic film recycling container located at the building’s loading dock.

Is recycling plastic film the best environmental option?

As with any recycling process, it takes energy and materials to collect plastic film, to transport it, and to manufacture it into new goods.  We encourage all staff to find ways to reduce the amount of plastic film purchased and reuse plastic film whenever possible.

Here are some ways to reduce plastic film waste:

  • Check UW Surplus first when purchasing supplies and equipment, they’re packaging-free!
  • Order office supplies on a monthly/quarterly basis rather than one item at a time to reduce shipping and packaging.
  • For laboratories, review the Green Labs Purchasing resources to find vendors that use less packaging.  

Have questions about recycling plastic film?

Contact UW Recycling at or 206-685-2811. You can also send a direct message on Instagram (@uwrecycling) or Facebook (@UWRecycling).