Ziploc bags are indeed recyclable, and you only need to locate the recycling bin the next time you visit your local store. When clean and dry, the used bags usually go in the same bins as the plastic shopping bags.
It’s estimated that an average American family can use up to 500 Ziploc bags every year. If these bags are carelessly thrown away, they can quickly add up to the amount of plastic going into landfills.
Therefore, the only way to ensure you dispose of the bags accordingly is by recycling them. This will help decrease the amount of plastic sent to landfills and incinerators. As a result, you’ll be contributing to better waste-management practices for a healthier environment.
What is a Ziploc Bag?
Ziploc is a brand of reusable and re-sealable zipper storage bags currently produced by S.C. Johnson & Son. The previous owners (The Dow Chemical Company) of Ziploc bags tested and marketed these bags in 1968. This was before the new owners, S.C. Johnson & Son, took over as the producers until date.
The bags come in varying sizes and are made to serve different purposes on the market. Some of the different variations of the bag include:
- Snack bags
- Sandwich bags
- Food storage bags and
- Re-sealable plastic bags
Besides being used for different products, Ziploc bags also feature varying closure mechanisms. The classic interlocking bags feature the “zip” closure mechanism. With the classic closure mechanism, you press together two interlocking pieces of plastic to close the bag. Newer models of Ziploc bags feature a small tab that runs across the top of the bags to seal them closed.
How to Recycle Ziploc Bags?
Recycling plastic baggies is pretty straightforward because you can recycle them with other types of plastic bags. These include produce bags, dry-cleaning bags, and shopping bags. Head down to the local grocery store if you are clueless about finding a Ziploc bag recycling center near you. You’ll find that most retailers offer bins right inside their stores dedicated to collecting film or any form of plastic bag.
If you aren’t sure where your closest recycling store is located, you can use PlasticFilmRecycling.org to find several centers near you. PlasticFilmRecycling.org has a tool that you can use to find the nearest Ziploc or film recycling center. You only need to enter your Zip code for the tool to locate where you can drop off any unwanted Ziploc bags.
READ ALSO: Can You Recycle Plastic Bags?
How to Reuse Ziploc Bags?
Besides recycling, you can also reuse Ziploc bags so long as you care for the bags properly. This makes the whole experience cost-effective, especially if you like using these bags more often. To ensure these bags are in their best shape after using them, ensure you clean them using soap and water.
Also, I wouldn’t advise you to reuse Ziploc bags initially used to pack meat, greasy products, or moldy foods. They are usually hard to clean off the materials inside and can lead to harmful bacteria build-up inside.
Therefore, it’s best to leave plastic baggies used for packing meat, greasy items, and moldy food s for recycling.
Lastly, the best way to clean these bags for reusing is by investing in a bag dryer. Bag dryers sit nicely on the counter and extend their arms wide to hold the bags open to drain and dry for reuse.