What do I do with…?

Compressed Plastic Bottles


What’s with plastic? Plastic is an ingrained part of our everyday lives. Much of the plastic that is created has limited recycling options and low post-use financial value creating a variety of harmful consequences.

Why is plastic waste a problem? Plastic degrades into smaller and smaller pieces and is now part of the food chain through microplastic pollution. We don’t have adequate or sustainable systems to responsibly deal with the volume of plastic waste being created. It’s piling up in oceans, wildlife habitats, world cities urban and rural, and in our landfills. Plastic takes thousands of years to decompose, and also contains many toxic chemicals.

Examples: containers, plastic bags, plastic plates, bowls and utensils, plastic cups, carpet, clothing (see Textiles), toys (see Toys), etc.


  • Buy in bulk using reusable containers, such as glass, metal, cloth or safe reusable plastic; All of these locations have a bulk fill section:

  • Choose to purchase products that do not have plastic packaging or when possible avoid excessive packaging

  • Choose to purchase plastic free products or products with less plastic such as a bamboo toothbrush or a tooth brush with replacement heads

  • Choose products containing plastic which is easily recycled in our area: Clear #1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) or translucent #2 HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

  • Check out our Working Toward Plastic Free in Montana Facebook page for more tips!



There are limited plastic recycling options in this area. Make as many choices as you can to limit your purchase of plastics which can’t be recycled. Here is what is available:

  • Plastics #1 & #2

    • Currently Republic Services drop-off recycling center only takes clear #1 PET (example: clear soda bottle) and translucent  #2 (example: translucent milk jug)

    • Make sure to remove the lids and clean containers thoroughly

    • Consult the Republic Services recycling guide

  • Plastics #1 - #7

    • Republic Services also accept plastics #1 - #7 in their all-in-one curbside service

    • (Always call to check their current policies)

  • Precious Plastic Missoula is more than just recycling, it is reusing. This group is working on ways to collect discarded plastic, shred it into small pieces and remold it.

    • Currently Precious Plastic Missoula is taking some plastic from the residents of the university area until they get the manufacturing process in place.

    • Call (406) 371-3693 or email preciousplasticmissoula@gmail.com for more information.

  • Plastic Shopping Bags

  • Carpet


1003 East Broadway St
(406) 549-2351

2205 Oxford S
(406) 549-5105

2230 North Reserve St
(406) 728-1116

3800 Russell St
(406) 549-1547

Lucky’s Market
2901 Brooks Street, Unit M-1
(406) 549-8124

Good Food Store
1600 S 3rd St W
(406) 541-3663

Pattee Creek Market
704 SW Higgins Ave
(406) 543-8143

Butterfly Herbs
232 N Higgins Ave
(406) 728-8780

Zootown Thrift
1444 W Broadway St
(406) 552-7732

Teen Challenge Thrift Store
2036 Mullan Rd
(406) 728-1171

YWCA Secret Seconds
920 Kensington Ave
(406) 541-3210

1136 W Broadway St
(406) 549-1610

Underground Thrift Store
705 S Higgins Ave
(406) 543-7154

Missoula Goodwill
2501 S Reserve St
(406) 549-6969

Bargain Corner
200 S California St
(406) 543-4926

Donation Warehouse
1804 North Ave W Suite D
(406) 240-4042

Pierce Flooring & Cabinet Design Center
1603 Brooks
(406) 543-8224

Republic Services
3207 West Broadway St
(406) 721-1120

Precious Plastic
530 S 5th Street E
(406) 371-3693

2420 N Reserve St
(406) 543-4000

More Information

A great resource for understanding the challenges and opportunities to #breakfreefromplastic is the Working Toward Plastic Free in Montana Facebook page.