Dear Recycle Lady

Dear Recycle Lady.

When walking my dog lately, I have been using the black plastic dog waste bags provided by the City. Are there any environmentally friendly alternatives for these plastic bags?

Dog Walker

Dear Dog Walker,

Great question. Yes, there are several brands of 100% biodegradable pet waste bags available that are made from corn and plant starches. For example, Doggie Do Good, Amazon, Chewy and Pet Waste Eliminator all have inexpensive rolls of these bags. Even though these bags will end up in the landfill after use, they will biodegrade. Believe it or not, 500 million plastic dog waste bags are used globally every year, according to Unfortunately, most of these bags end up in our oceans. One alternative to the black plastic bags is to reuse the plastic sleeves that newspapers come in.  Although they work very well, they are not biodegradable. However, they are recyclable. So, the best environmentally friendly alternative is to use one of the 100% biodegradable pet waste bags. Your neighbors will appreciate your pickup and so will the environment.


Dear Recycle Lady,

Sales receipts from store purchases used to be made of paper, but today several receipts I have received look like that they are made of something else besides paper. Is there some plastic in these receipts and will they recycle like the paper receipts did?


Dear Shopper,

Yes, 93% of today’s sales receipts contain a common type of plastic known as BPA. Since these receipts are made from more than one component, it’s impossible to separate these components in the recycling process.


Dear Readers,

Don’t forget about the Recyclable Workshop this Friday at the Recycle Center in Ronceverte from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon.  Anyone who asks for information about recycling, has a question about recycling or just wants to talk about recycling will receive an environmentally friendly pencil made from recycled newspapers. See you there.

Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to  Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.

Pictured above on the far left is the first generation of recyclable packaging for laundry detergent that was made by Seventh Generation, Inc., an American company that sells eco-friendly cleaning, paper, and personal care products.  The detergent comes in what appears to be a recyclable cardboard container. But, inside this container is a plastic bag that contains liquid detergent that is not recyclable.  However, slitting open the outside of the container along the seam line reveals the two separate parts of the container, as shown above.  The cardboard part of the container in the middle photo is recyclable. The plastic bag and top on the far right is not.





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