Reusable Shopping Bags Put in Garbage See Alternatives Recycle Only Polypropylene (#5 Plastic) Bags Reusable shopping bags can be made from hemp, polypropylene, jute, canvas or cotton. Only the ones made from polypropylene (#5 plastic) can be recycled. Compost Canvas, Jute & Hemp Place canvas, cotton, jute or hemp bags in with composting since they’re made from biodegradable plant fiber. Alternative Ways to Recycle ChicoBag Repurposing Program Send back old, reusable shopping bags to ChicoBag’s Repurposing Program. ChicoBag has partnered with Grateful Thread, who makes handbags, placemats, and totes from donated materials. Proceeds from their sells are used to support services for victims of domestic violence. Did You Know? Coastal Land Litter Conventional plastic bags are among the top 12 items found most frequently during coastal cleanups. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, though because they are plastic, they will never degrade completely.