Closing the Loop on Plastic Bags, Our Exceptional Story

NOVOLEX wants to better utilize our natural resources and protect our environment. Bag-2-Bag® can help reduce waste and litter on our streets, waterways, and beaches. Bag-2-Bag® is the Nation’s first closed loop recycling program where consumer can bring plastic retail bags and other wraps and films back to their local store to be recycled and made in to new bags.

When you take your bags back, they’ll be going to our state-of-the-art recycling plant where they are turned into clean new bags which can be recycled again and again.

Watch the following "Today In America" feature showing how we recycle old bags and film into new bags at our NOVOLEX Hilex Poly recycling center in North Vernon, IN.


It’s called Bag-2-Bag® and here’s how it works

Plastic bags are collected at grocery stores and other retailers across the country. Collected bags are gathered into bales and transported to the NOVOLEX recycling center in North Vernon, IN. Our recycling center washes and processes the used bags into pellets. The recycled pellets are then used to manufacture brand new plastic bags.


What can I recycle in your Bag-2-Bag® program?

The following is a Yes/No check list and a graphich showing items that can/can’t be recycled in our program:

Please Recycle These In Bag-2-Bag®

  • Plastic retail bags
  • Produce bags
  • News Paper Bags
  • Dry Cleaning Bags
  • Cereal Box liners
  • Paper towel and toilet paper wrap
  • Over wrap on cases of soda or canned vegetables
  • Sealed air pouches in mailed packages
  • Ziploc and other zipper style bags—please remove zippers prior to recycling

Please Do Not Recycle These In Bag-2-Bag®

  • Salad and other pre-prepared vegetable bags
  • Frozen vegetable bags
  • Pet food bags
  • PVC or PVDC (Saran) films (meat wrap is PVC)
  • Polystyrene, polyurethane foamed, polypropylene
  • PETE trays
  • Plastic bottles
  • Hazardous materials, medical wastes, or packages of these products
  • Metal

Here are some of the common items you can recycle in our Bag-2-Bag® takeback program

Watch this video to learn about bag and film items that can be recycled... its more than just plastic bags.


Become an environmental partner

NOVOLEX works with stores to establish effective plastic bag recycling programs. You can see how Bag-2-Bag® is already making a difference in our success stories. Businesses interested in establishing a closed loop plastic bag program can contact our sales team.

Why Bag-2-Bag® is a Win-Win-Win

First and foremost, Bag-2-Bag® not only takes plastic retail bags out of the environment and landfills, it also takes other recyclable films out as well.  So the biggest winner is local communities.

Second, consumers are rewarded for their recycling when they are provided with bags made from recycled content by their local retailers.

Third, stores are rewarded when we purchase the bags and films from them and then use it to make their bags.  One of the strongest sustainability statements a store can make is “this bag is made from 30% recycled content”.

Can Every Store Participate in Bag-2-Bag®?

Bag-2-Bag® works best when stores have two key factors working for them.  First, they have access to a logistics system that can back haul the bags for consolidation and baling.  This typically happens with a chain of stores.  Secondly, Bag-2-Bag® works best with stores where customers visit them on a weekly basis so that recycling can become part of their routine.  This is why the most successful programs have been with grocery stores.

But I read that plastic bags can’t be recycled?

While plastic bags aren’t economically recycled through curb side or single stream programs, it is a misnomer that they can’t be recycled, and store take back programs have evolved into an efficient platform to which more than 90% of Americans now have access to.

How much really gets recycled?

We process over 22 million pounds per year at the NOVOLEX North Vernon, IN facility and many times more through other recycling partners.  In 2012, our industry collected and recycled more than 1 billion pounds.

Can I bring another store’s bag to a Bag-2-Bag® recycling bin?

Absolutely yes!

What if I forget to bring my bags back?

No problem!  One of the great things about recycling is that if you forget to bring them this week, you can always remember them next week.

What else can I do as a sustainably focused consumer?

Reuse before you recycle.

Over 90% of Americans now have access to a program like Bag-2-Bag® recycling, but you can help our environment in other ways by responsibly reusing plastic bags. See our Environmentally responsible bagging page for better ways to use and reuse plastic bags.

Know you are using a recycled content bag

You can request that your local store only use bags with at least 25% recycled content. Look for bags that are gray or buff (tan) to ensure you are getting the highest recycled content levels and the most environmentally preferred bag, like our Gray is the New Green Bag. In 2014, more than 33% of all our retail bag production was made from recycled content.

Share the Bag-2-Bag Brochure to spread the word!