Popcorn Bags Put in Garbage Popcorn Bags Aren’t Recyclable Popcorn bags are made of paper, but some are lined with potentially toxic chemicals (perfluorinated grease-proofing agents, or C8 compounds) to prevent grease from soaking through. Toss them in the trash. Ways to Reduce Buy Stovetop Popcorn Kernels in Bulk Consider buying kernels in large containers, or better yet, from the bulk section of the grocery store. You’ll save money and reduce packaging waste at the same time. Popping your popcorn on the stove is easy. It’s also healthier because it uses less oil and additives. Did You Know? Harmful Chemicals in Microwave Popcorn Microwave popcorn often contains the chemical diacetyl, which causes lung damage. Microwave popcorn packaging also contains chemicals that the EPA considers likely carcinogens. 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.