My city has a separate recycling mechanism for plastic bags, relative to the standard throw-it-in-the-can method we used for everything that has a little symbol on it.

There are free dropoff points for plastic bags around the city, and if you feel like a good samaritan, you can haul your bags out there and stuff them in.

This is approximately eight months’ worth of plastic bags for three people.

Some of it was wrapped around vegetables from the supermarket. Some of it was peeled off the lids of yogurt and soup and sour cream containers. Some was used to transport cables, or batteries, or zipties, or bread, or bars of soap. There are bags in here from restaurants, hardware stores, pharmacies, gas stations. A surprising amount of it was packing material that arrived in the mail.

One night I stuffed it all into my bike trailer and pedaled it out to the recycling kiosk outside the Safeway.

I don’t know where it goes from there, but I hope at least that it stays out of the ocean.

The big bucket back at the house remained empty for about two days. Then I received a piece of junk mail – a catalog – wrapped in plastic. The plastic went into the bucket.

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