Reduce Plastic Consumption But Keep Recycling It


Did you know that there is something you can do that’s even better than recycling plastic. You can avoid buying it in the first place! Here are a few reasons why avoiding plastic is the most eco-friendly choice.

Plastics Are Made from Non-Renewable Sources

Virgin plastics are made from petroleum and natural gas. Not only are both of these sources non-renewable but their extraction can also be hazardous for humans, animals and the environment.

Not All Plastic Can or Will Be Recycled

The EPA estimated that in 2017 only 3 million tons out of 35.4 million tons of plastic produced was recycled. That’s less than 9%. Why is this? Many reasons: some plastic used in durable goods that remain in use, some was used in materials — such as mixed material products — which cannot be recycled, some was improperly disposed of, and some was intentionally or unintentionally littered.

Plastic Can Be Recycled Only 2-3 Times

Unlike glass and metal which can be recycled indefinitely without significant degradation, plastic can be recycled only 2-3 times before it has to be downcycled into products like composite lumber. Even so, recycling plastic is very important because it greatly reduces the amount of virgin plastics that must be created to meet demand.

Given the problems with plastic, it’s easy to see that reducing our plastic use in the first place is the way to go. After all, the phrase is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Recycling is last on the list because it’s the last resort. We are better environmental stewards when we put more effort into the first two Rs: Reduce and Reuse. Only when we can’t avoid a piece of plastic, or reuse it, is the best option to recycle it.

See a full list of the plastics we recycle in Napa.

The Bag Ban Returns to Reduce Plastic and Litter

reusable bag

On April 23, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order suspending SB 270 — California’s plastic bag ban — for 60 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This order has not been renewed, so retailers are once again required to distribute only compostable or certified reusable bags and charge a minimum of 10 cents per bag. Let’s break down why the plastic bag ban is important and how you can avoid paying unnecessary fees next time you checkout.

According to a report by CalRecycle, a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency, “Six months after SB 270 went into effect there was an 85 percent reduction in the number of plastic bags and a 61 percent reduction in the number of paper bags provided to customers.” This is a really big deal considering Californians were using close to 1 billion single-use plastic bags per year prior to the implementation of the ban. In addition to reducing plastic use, the ban has had a significant impact on the amount of litter across the state. Prior to the ban, coastal clean-ups by the Ocean Conservancy found that plastic bags made up 8-10 percent of marine litter. After the ban, that number dropped to less than 4 percent. This reduction in plastic use and litter is something Californians can truly be proud of.

But what about those reusable plastic bag fees? Yes, they are annoying but that’s the point. The fee is designed to incentivize shoppers to reduce plastic use. Every time you bring your own bag — whether it’s a fancy tote or a 10-cent bag from a prior checkout — you are both helping curb plastic use and saving yourself a little money. It’s a win-win.

On July 1, the Napa County Public Health Department released revised language in the Shelter in Place Order, which now allows customers to bring their own bags if they do not require handling by employees. Customers can place their reusable bags in carts and/or baskets, but must bag their own groceries.

Despite these changes, customers may encounter stores that are not aware of the changes or need additional time to update policies and procedures before accepting customers’ reusable bags, so please be patient.

As always, we encourage you to visit the Napa County Coronavirus website for additional guidance.

Have any single-use plastic bags hanging around? You can recycle them at a store drop-off location — but call ahead because some locations are accepting bags during the pandemic. Alternatively, plastic bags can be reused to line a small bathroom trash can or even pick up pet waste.

Plastic Free July: 3 Easy Ways to Avoid Plastic Every Day

plastic free picnic

July is one of the warmest months of the year, with people flocking to the beach and spending time playing outside. Going green this July doesn’t mean any of that has to change. Reducing plastic consumption within the flow of daily life doesn’t have to take much extra time or effort. Here are a few plastic-free tips for taking on summer in style.

Alternative Product Containers

Many sunscreens and lotions now come in plastic-free packaging. Look for sunscreen options that come in a tin as opposed to a plastic tube. Lotion can also be purchased in bulk and stored in a glass container or a reusable plastic one. Many moisturizers are also available in solid bar form and can be kept in a reusable storage tin.

Reusable Picnic Ware

Who doesn’t love a crisp cold salad or some BBQ on a hot summer’s day? In order to make your picnic or takeout meal plastic-free, bring along washable napkins and reusable silverware. If you are bringing food from home, consider using a reusable container and plates to keep your picnic zero waste.

Bring A Bottle

Over 50 billion bottles of water are consumed in America each year. Of those, 80% are not recycled and end up in a landfill. There are two simple solutions to help reverse this trend. First, use a reusable water bottle when you need water on the go. If you’re not in love with the taste of your tap water try using a water filter. Second, if you do grab a plastic water bottle in a pinch make sure to recycle it!

Want more plastic free ideas? Check out

Local Stores That Sell Certified Compostable Bags

Compostable BagsNote that organizations, services, locations and fees may change without notice. The list is for informational purposes only and represents no recommendations or endorsements by the County or City of Napa.

Browns Valley Market
3263 Browns Valley Rd
3 gal, 13 gal

Clark’s Ace Hardware
325 Lincoln Ave
2.6 gal, 13 gal

Home Depot
225 Soscol Ave
3 gal, 13 gal *More Options Online

Little Joe’s Janitorial
2778 Jefferson St
13 gal, 33 gal, 44 gal

Lucky Supermarkets
1312 Trancas St; 2355 California Bld
BioBag, Sunny Select
13 gal, 30 gal

Nob Hill Foods
611 Trancas St
NaturBag, Repurpose
3 gal, 13 gal, sandwich (compostable paper)

Outdoor Supply Hardware
3980 Bel Aire Plaza
Bag to Nature
13 gal

4020 Bel Aire Plaza
3 gal, 13 gal

217 Soscol Ave
NaturBag, Repurpose
3 gal, 13 gal

3375 Jefferson St
Open Nature
3 gal, 13 gal, 33 gal, compostable bags sandwich, snack, quart

4000 Bel Aire Plaza
Natural Home
3 gal *More Options Online

205 Soscol Ave Glad
Hefty 2.6, 13 gal, 33 gal *More Options Online

681 Lincoln Ave
Hefty, Biobag
2.6 gal, 3 gal *More Options Online

Whole Foods Market
3682 Bel Aire Plaza
Biobag, Repurpose
3 gal, 13 gal, sandwich, quart

Zeller’s Ace Hardware
819 Randolph St
2.6 gal, 13 gal

Coping with COVID-19 ~ Shelter In Place / Como lidiar con emociones relacionadas al COVID-19 ~ Mientras estamos en Contingencia/Refugio en casa

Reach Out!

Your community is here for you

Napa County Mental Health
(707) 259-8151

Aldea Bilingual Family Wellness Support
(707) 543-1152

Mentis Bilingual Mental Health
(707) 255-0966 ext 132

LGBTQ Connection “Drop-In” Counseling
(707) 948-6640

For more COVID-19-related resources

¡Busca Ayuda!

Tu comunidad está aquí para ti

Salud mental del condado de Napa
(707) 259-8151

Apoyo Bilingüe de Bienestar Familiar de Aldea
(707) 543-1152

Salud Mental Bilingüe de Mentis
(707) 255-0966 ext 132

LGBTQ Connection “Drop-In” Counseling
(707) 948-6640

Para obtener más recursos relacionados con COVID-19

Curbside Food Composting


  • Reduce moisture and odors in your pail or cart by adding soiled or shredded paper or wrapping your food scraps in newspaper.
  • Keep your compost pail clean by using a 2 or 3 gallon compostable bag liner. Various local stores and online vendors sell compostable bags.
  • Need a compost pail for daily collection of kitchen scraps? Contact us at 255- 5200 or — or reuse any appropriate-sized container that you have at home.
  • Avoid odors, mold, and insects by washing your compost pail regularly (it’s dishwasher safe but the label may not survive). It also helps to sprinkle baking soda or rub vinegar on the inside of your compost pail or cart lid.
  • Don’t have many yard trimmings, but still want to compost food scraps? Just contact Customer Service at 255-5200 or to order a smaller brown cart.

For detailed information on the program, including a list of accepted items, please visit


Recycle More

Want MORE recycling? Now you can schedule free pick-up of your large, special recyclables items, any time of year. Here’s how it works.

What We Accept:

Televisions & computer monitors

Computer & oce equipment

Consumer electronics

All appliances

Oversize metal items (over 36”)

Bagged clothing & shoes

Cooking oil (call or go online to request a collection container)

Bagged household batteries

(when combined with another Recycle More item)

By appointment only. Schedule a curbside pick-up by visiting or calling the number below.

Coming our way?
Napa Recycling & Composting Facility accepts e-waste & appliances FREE year-round.

707-255-5200 • 820 Levitin Way Daily Hours: 8am–4pm

Go here for more facility details and map.

Compost Available!


Enrich your soil naturally
Fight climate change
Prevent erosion
Conserve water
Close the loop
Save money

Available for purchase at the Napa Recycling & Composting Facility – 820 Levitin Way, American Canyon.

Organic Compost Only $12/cubic yard! (+ tax) We deliver within our service area (additional fees apply)

Napa’s local compost is perfect for vineyards, farms, gardens, yards and landscaping projects.

See our Organic Compost for Sale page for more details.

Compost Certifications




State law requires builders to reuse or recycle at least 65% of debris from large construction and demolition projects.

NCRWS can help you comply and save money!

Separate the following materials and pay less than the same size box for mixed “trash”:
Clean Wood
Grape Pomace
Yard Trimmings
Carpet Single-Stream Recycling

Separated Material Dumpster

Please note:
Comparison only using Napa County rates, actual costs will vary.

Find the current rates here.