Popcorn Bags Put in Garbage Do Not Recycle Popcorn bags are made of paper, but some are lined with chemicals to prevent grease from soaking through. Chemical-lined paper cannot be recycled, so toss them in the garbage. Put Plastic Wrap in Garbage Microwave popcorn bags come individually wrapped in plastic wrap. Toss the plastic wrap in the garbage. Ways to Reduce Buy Popcorn Kernels in Bulk Consider buying kernels in large containers, or from the bulk section of the grocery store. You’ll save money and reduce packaging waste at the same time. Oil and season your own popcorn after making it on the stovetop, with a popcorn maker or in your microwave. Did You Know? Harmful Chemicals in Microwave Popcorn Microwave popcorn often contains the chemical diacetyl, which causes lung damage. Some microwave popcorn bags also contain PFAS, which the EPA calls “forever chemicals.” PFAS will leach into the popcorn when you make it, and there is evidence they accumulate in the body after eating microwave popcorn. Birds Shouldn't Eat Popcorn Eating human foods such as popcorn is unhealthy for birds, and can give them diseases such as “angel wing,” which causes them to lose their ability to fly.