Recycling at Publix.

Publix encourages customers to make the right choice and use reusable bags, but for those customers who choose plastic or paper, we provide recycling bins so they’re properly recycled. By inspiring customers to recycle these items, we ensure they are disposed of properly and kept out of the environment and landfills.

Plastic bag recycling bins

Soft plastic.

Clean, dry, soft, and flexible plastics only.

We accept:

  • Shopping bags
  • Overwrap from packages like toilet paper, napkins, paper towels and shipping cases
  • Zip-top and other resealable bags (without the zipper)
  • Pharmacy, bread, produce, cereal and dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper sleeves
  • Ice bags, salt bags, and wood pellet bags
  • Air pillows and bubble wrap

We do not accept:

  • Drinking bottles
  • Food containers
  • Plastic cups, lids or straws
  • Jugs
  • Hard or rigid plastics
  • Any items that are not clean and dry or contain food or food residue


Clean and dry paper only.

We accept:

  • Paper bags
  • Newspapers
  • Ad inserts
  • Publix recipe cards

We do not accept:

  • Drinking cups
  • Hardcover books
  • Paper envelopes with bubble lining
  • Any items that are not clean and dry or contain food or food residue


Clean and dry foam only.

We accept:

  • Egg cartons
  • Takeout trays and cups
  • Meat trays

We do not accept:

  • Paper or plastic egg cartons
  • Lids and straws that come with foam cups
  • Packing peanuts
  • Large foam blocks used in electronics packaging
  • Any items that are not clean and dry or contain any food or food residue

We focused on reducing waste long before ecosavvy was chic. As early as the 1970s, we began formalizing recycling by collecting all cardboard from stores and working with paper companies to recycle.

Each year, our goal is to improve our recycling practices. In 2023, we diverted more than 50% of our waste from entering the landfill.

In 2023, we recycled:

  • Almost 598 million pounds of cardboard and wax cardboard
  • Over 25 million pounds of mixed plastics
  • Over 10.5 million pounds of mixed paper
  • Plus more than 105 million pounds of other materials ranging from food waste to hard-to-recycle materials like foam.

From our cardboard and paper recycling alone, this equates to saving:

  • 5.2 million trees
  • 2.1 billion gallons of water
  • 2.8 million barrels of oil
  • 912,000 cubic yards of landfill space

In 2019, we began working with a facility that accepts hard-to-recycle materials and turns them into fuel cubes that are a cleaner alternative to coal. This process has allowed us to divert more than 31 million pounds of materials such as contaminated cardboard, paper, and plastic from the landfill.

In an effort to reduce plastic waste, we work with a milk crate recycling service to recycle broken or damaged crates into new crates. Since we began tracking this effort in 2018, we’ve been able to recycle 565,346 crates equaling 1,413,366 pounds of plastic saved.

In 2022, we were recognized as a Recycling Champion by the Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation. Judges from University of Miami’s Sustainable Business Club named us Best Overall for our work in landfill diversion and sustainability communication and education. We were also recognized for this award in 2021 after judges from Florida State University’s Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship named us the Environmental Stewardship Super Star for our work in water stewardship and landfill diversion.

In 2015, we received an Innovation in Plastics Recycling award from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The ACC recognized us as a leader in recycling rigid plastic packaging by optimizing our back-of-store recycling stream with the use of a vertical and horizontal baler that produces large, dense bales of clean plastic for recycling.

And while we’re proud of the recognition, we’re even more proud of our continued success.