Baling wire for recycling plastic film

According to the EPA, about 420,000 tons of plastic bags, sacks, and wraps were recycled in 2018, a large portion of which was made of plastic film. We are proud to support the plastic filmrecycling industry with high-quality wire products.

Our environmental commitment

Baling wire is essential for recyclingplastic film and other materials. Baling Wire Direct is a major supplier of high-quality baling wire products to plastics recycling facilities.

We use an environmentally friendly mechanical descaling process to improve wire quality without harsh chemicals. We also encourage the recycling of used baling wire, preserving natural resources and reducing the need for virgin metals.

Baling Wire Direct offers a wide variety of high-quality baling wire products that are essential for binding plastic film into secure bales for efficient transportation and processing by recycling facilities.

Plastic film recycling market forecast

The plastic film recycling industry has immense growth on the horizon, driven by rising environmental awareness and technological advancements.

Fueled by a global movement towards sustainability, demand for recycled plastic films is expected to skyrocket. The plastic recycling market is projected to reach $120 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% from 2023 onwards.

Myriad factors are driving market growth, including the expanding use of recycled plastics in sectors such as packaging, textiles, automotive, and construction. Increasing adoption of recycled materials is creating huge opportunities.

There remain challenges around aspects such as complex recycling processes for multilayer films and improving recycling infrastructure. However, innovations in collection, advanced sorting capabilities, and rising advocacy for plastics recycling are helping the industry rapidly mature.

What plastic film can be recycled?

Recyclable plastic film typically comes from polyethylene, labeled as #2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene) or #4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene). However, not all #2 and #4 plastics qualify for recycling (only flexible forms are suitable).

Examples of recyclable plastic film products include:

  • Grocery bags.
  • Garment bags.
  • Retail bags (no strings).
  • Newspaper bags.
  • Dry cleaning bags.
  • Produce bags.
  • Bread bags.
  • Cereal bags (no paper tears).
  • Paper product overwrap.
  • Stretch/shrink wrap.
  • Zip-top food bags.
  • Bubble wrap.
  • Deflated air pillows.

The plastic film recycling process

The recycling process for plastic film involves several key steps to transform the material into new products:

  • Collection. Plastic film gets brought to drop-off locations such as supermarkets, as curbside recycling is not possible.
  • Sorting. Film is sorted by resin type and cleanliness. Separation occurs by density (HDPE, LDPE).
  • Cleaning. Sorted film is cleaned to remove contaminants and debris to avoid recycling stream contamination.
  • Shredding. Clean film is then shredded into flakes for easier processing.
  • Identification and separation. Additional sorting and separation ensure a pure material stream. Techniques such as wind tunnels can separate thinner from thicker pieces.
  • Extrusion and pelletizing. Shredded plastics are melted and extruded into more manageable pellets.
  • Reprocessing. The pellets are then used to manufacture new products such as composite lumber, containers, pipes and plastic bags.

Proper handling and transformation at each step ensures recycled plastic film is converted into usable materials.

Benefits of recycling plastic film

There are several key benefits to recycling plastic film including the following:

  • Resource conservation. Recycling reduces the need for virgin plastic to conserve non-renewable resources.
  • Waste reduction. Recycling reduces the plastic waste that ends up in landfills and nature. Keeping materials in use longer is a cornerstone of the circular economy.
  • Pollution prevention. Plastic waste causes immense pollution. Recycling film helps prevent this pollution for a cleaner environment.
  • Job creation. Efforts associated with recycling plastic film have created a substantial number of jobs.
  • Cost savings. Recycling lowers businesses disposal costs.
  • Recycling market development. Rising demand exists for recycled plastic film to manufacture products such as lumber, garden goods, crates, pipes, film packaging, and plastic bags.

Challenges of recycling plastic film

Recycling plastic film presents several key challenges:

  • Collection and sorting. Plastic film does not fit typical curbside programs, posing contamination and equipment damage risks. Instead, drop-off locations collect film, limiting available volumes.
  • Processing. The clingy nature of plastic film can tangle and jam sorting equipment, increasing costs from downtime.
  • Quality. Each recycling cycle degrades plastic film, affecting the quality of the recycled material and application potential.
  • Market disconnect. Despite recycling demand, available film often does not meet recycler input requirements, limiting actual volumes recycled.
  • Multilayer films. Separating different plastic layers complicates recycling since each polymer needs distinct processing.

These challenges may be overcome by investing in new technologies, infrastructure and processes.

Best baling wire for plastic film

Baling wire is used in a wide range of applications, including baling plastic film. The best baling wire products for baling plastic film include:

  • 13 or 14 gauge galvanized single loop bale ties. With tensile strength up to 95,000 PSI, these bale ties work for vertical, down-stroke and horizontal balers to securely bale cardboard, plastic, newspaper, shredded paper and more.
  • 11 or 12 gauge galvanized wire. These wires are galvanized to prevent rust and are suitable for baling plastic that will be stored outdoors and offer remarkable strength.
  • Annealed baling wire. Annealed wire is heat-treated for ductility, making it easier to work with.

The ideal baling wire product depends on the type of materials, baler type, and where bales will be stored.

Common balers used in recycling plastic film

Several types of baler machinery are used by plastic film recycling operations:

  • Vertical plastic balers are well-suited for plastic foil, cardboard, paper, and other waste.
  • Automatic horizontal balers can rapidly process huge volumes of soft plastics, paper, film and textiles.

Selecting the right baling solution is key for profitability and efficiency in plastic film recycling.

Our recycling baling wire sizes

We offer wire suitable for baling plastic film in a wide variety of sizes. Our products are compatible with a range of baling machinery, including vertical and horizontal balers.

Gauge is the standard way of sizing baling wire for recycling. Wire gauge is inversely related to diameter, meaning that a smaller wire diameter corresponds to a higher gauge wire.

Check out our American wire gauge chart for more information on wire sizes.

Plastic film baling wire recycling categories

We make a wide range of plastic film baling products. Order bulk quantities of box wire, stem wire, or bale ties. Click on any category to learn more.

Recycling plastic film FAQ

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EPA. (2023, November 22). Frequent Questions regarding EPA's Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling | US EPA. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Retrieved January 12, 2024, from

Markets and Markets. (n.d.). Recycled Plastics Market Size, Industry Share Forecast Trends Report, [Latest]. MarketsandMarkets. Retrieved January 12, 2024, from

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