One option that won’t work is substituting plastic bags with biodegradable ones. First, the tear strength of biodegradable packaging bags is low compared to their petrochemical counter parts. They also have a high rate of water absorption. Most developing countries are also not equipped with the technological capacity to produce biodegradable material. Lastly, they are still not cost effective. The cost of most bio plastic polymers fall in the range of USD$2-5 per kg, compared to approximately USD$ per kg for the usual petrochemical polymers. These factors make biodegradables a poor substitution.
There are many actions along the recycling supply chain that can influence and affect the material quality of recyclate.  It begins with the waste producers who place non-target and non-recyclable wastes in recycling collection. This can affect the quality of final recyclate streams or require further efforts to discard those materials at later stages in the recycling process.  The different collection systems can result in different levels of contamination. Depending on which materials are collected together, extra effort is required to sort this material back into separate streams and can significantly reduce the quality of the final product.  Transportation and the compaction of materials can make it more difficult to separate material back into separate waste streams. Sorting facilities are not one hundred per cent effective in separating materials, despite improvements in technology and quality recyclate which can see a loss in recyclate quality.  The storage of materials outside where the product can become wet can cause problems for re-processors. Reprocessing facilities may require further sorting steps to further reduce the amount of non-target and non-recyclable material.  Each action along the recycling path plays a part in the quality of recyclate.
As the global population climbs toward 7 billion, consumption is producing vast amounts of waste which requires processing. California ships more than 22 million tons of waste to landfills every year. Landfill sites can contaminate local soil, water and air quality which may threaten human health and require expensive remediation efforts. Recycling helps to curb this accumulation by cycling the waste stream back into consumption. To limit the environmental damaged inflicted on our society it is increasingly critical to properly manage our collective resources.