Nonwoven is a Number 5 Plastic – Who Knew?

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This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Nonwoven Poly bags [Polypropylene] are some of the most popular bags on the market today because they are cheap and strong. You see them everywhere heavy stuff is getting carried around, the book store, farmers market, etc. They do their job great.

However I have written before that nonwoven bags are not recyclable.

Well in that respect it seems I was wrong. There are a number of nonwoven bags from manufactures like Jetline and Hit Promotional Products that are recyclable. These bags have a recycle rating of 5 and number 5 plastics can be recycled through some local curbside programs.

Polypropylene has a high melting point, and so is often recycled into containers that must accept hot liquid and in general it is gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers. The literature I located says “they often end up as signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, trays”.

Nonwoven fabrics themselves are sheet or web structures bonded together by entangling fiber mechanically. They are flat and porous sheets that are made directly from separate (often recycled) fibers. They are not made by weaving or knitting and do not require converting the fibers to yarn.

So yes Ecopreneurist it seems you can feel more comfortable about your Nonwoven bags. They are certainly the cheaper alternative to PET and organic and standard cotton shopper. Also keep in mind that the Advertising Specialty Institute ranks bags as the #2 longest retained promotion item, after clothing.

For more information and pricing on nonwoven bags please visit the Jetline website or see our page on nonwoven bags at


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