Part of our mission statement at Publix is to be intolerant of waste, and to be involved as responsible citizens in our communities. To stay true to this mission, we have created initiatives such as teaching our front-service clerks on proper bagging techniques, implementing bag reduction goals for every store and establishing campaigns to encourage the use of reusable bags for our customers. Did you know that when you purchase a reusable bag, 10 cents of the sale goes to support sustainability projects in local communities? One sustainability initiative we’re most proud of is our effort to help communities easily recycle plastic, paper and foam by using the bins located outside our stores.

One question we receive a lot: What specific items can we place in the bins? With updated signage, we’ve made it easy to identify the types of items that we accept and those that we do not.

Plastic: Only Empty, Clean & Dry Items

Includes: Soft plastics (#2, #4), plastic bags, product overwrap, pharmacy bags, dry cleaning bags.

Does not include hard plastics: drinking bottles, rigid containers, clamshells, jugs, any item containing food.

Specific examples of plastics that can be recycled also include plastic packaging from toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, overwrap from shipping cases, Ziploc and other re-sealable bags (without the zipper), bread and produce bags, cereal bags (not the ones that come in a box), newspaper sleeves, ice bags, salt bags, wood-pellet bags, bubble wrap, air pillows, and plastic wrap.

Paper: Only Empty, Clean & Dry Items

Includes: Paper bags, newspapers, Publix Aprons® recipe cards, ad inserts.

Does not include: Fast food bags with food, cups, hardcover books.

Foam: Only Empty, Clean & Dry Items

Includes: Foam egg cartons, clean foam take-out trays, clean foam cups.

Does not include: Paper or plastic egg cartons, take-out trays with food, cups with lids and straws, packing peanuts.

Now that you know what you can recycle in our bins, you might be wondering where that material goes and what happens to it. Our sustainability team shared more information about this process.

The recyclables that customers bring back to our stores are loaded on our trucks and sent to our return centers. When they arrive there, they are co-mingled with similar recyclables. From there, our recyclers pick up the material, which is then processed and made into other items. Some of these items include:

  • Low-maintenance fencing
  • Composite deck boards
  • Building and construction products
  • New plastic bags

Do you know about all the efforts Publix takes to be sustainable? Learn more here.


Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew L. started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

Leave a Comment   (Comment Policy)