Plastic

Plastic Bottles & Jugs

Most recycling programs will accept plastic containers for recycling. Please pay close attention to which kind of plastic is accepted in each program.

  • Curbside Recycling Programs 
  • Drop-Off Recycling Programs 
  • Returnable Bottles: most grocery stores have Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) or accept certain plastic bottles sold in their store for return of deposit and recycling. Read more about the Michigan Bottle Bill/Returnable Bottle Law at the bottom of this page.

Plastic Foam/Styrofoam

The word Styrofoam (with a capital "S") is a trademarked name for a certain kind of foam used mostly for construction purposes. Household foam items like foam food containers, packaging blocks, egg cartons, to-go cups, etc. are different. Options for polystyrene foam recycling are limited in this area. When possible, try to reduce use of foam by not purchasing items that contain foam packaging. 

Packing Peanuts

  • Packaging Service Companies: Inquire directly with local packaging or shipping companies about foam (or other) packaging reuse.
  • Surplus Trading: 2700 N. M-63, Benton Harbor, 269-849-1800. Accepts: clean, dry packing peanuts.  
  • The UPS Store: 732 S. 11th St., Niles, 269-683-7320; and 717 St. Joseph Dr., St. Joseph, 269-983-5754. Accepts: clean, dry packing peanuts and other various reusable packing materials for reuse.  
  • ZBattery.com: 1826 Hilltop Rd., St. Joseph, 800-624-8681 or 269-983-7155, www.zbattery.com. Accepts: clean, dry packing peanuts and other various reusable packing materials for reuse.

Michigan Bottle Bill

Michigan is one of 10 states with a beverage container deposit law. Only "beverage containers" require a deposit and can be redeemed. The law states under MCL Section 445.571(b) that a beverage means a “soft drink, soda water, carbonated natural mineral water, or other nonalcoholic carbonated drink; beer, ale, or other malt drink of whatever alcoholic content; or a mixed wine drink or a mixed spirit drink.” Bringing beverage containers from out of state on which no deposit was paid in Michigan for the purpose of collecting a deposit on the containers is illegal. More information about the Michigan Bottle Bill can be found by searching "Bottle Bill" at the  Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.