Are Ziploc Bags Recyclable?

Ziploc bags are used by millions every day to keep all manners of items in. From food to travel items, these useful bags make life just that little bit easier.

Although they are widely used, many of us are unsure whether Ziploc bags are recyclable or not. 

With more and more news stories coming out about the harm single-use plastics have on the environment, it’s making populations all over the world think twice about their personal habits and how to reduce the use of plastic.

Some of the most common types of plastic are in the form of sandwich bags.

There is no doubt that these plastic bags are convenient and easy to use. But, they can harm the environment.

Brands such as Ziploc understand this concern and that is why these plastic bags are recyclable. Furthermore, there are numerous ways to recycle these useful bags.

In today’s blog, we will be discussing how to recycle Ziploc bags so you can become more eco-friendly and not worry about these convenient bags becoming an environmental inconvenience.

Can You Recycle Ziploc Plastic Bags? 

In short, yes! However, it’s not quite as easy as you may have thought. All plastic sandwich bags, such as Ziploc, are considered plastic film.

This is a flexible form of plastic material that is often used in grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, and the material that encompasses toilet paper when you purchase it.

While this type of plastic film is not supposed to be thrown into curbside recycling bins, it is still recyclable. 

Head to most grocery stores and you will find recycling drop-off points where you can recycle plastic film.

These drop-off points tend to accept frozen food bags, cling wrap, cellophane, salad mix bags, and plastic sandwich bags. 

As we mentioned, the process of recycling Ziploc bags is a little more complicated than many think.

This is because they can be contaminated with certain food residue from items that have been kept within the bag. Therefore, this can negatively affect the purity of the recycled item. 

Reusing Ziploc Bags: Is It Safe? 

The verdict is out on whether or not Ziploc bags are safe to reuse. While many people recycle these bags, others recommend that we should use a fresh one every time and simply throw the old ones away.

However, Ziploc bags are clearly printed with a recyclable symbol on their front stating that they can be recycled when they are not required anymore. 

Placing an empty Ziploc bag into your recycling bin alongside plastic bottles and milk jugs is a better option than sending them to a landfill where they will not biodegrade. Instead, they will sit on a hillside for years, probably outlasting all of us! 

If you own plenty of reusable storage containers, we suggest using these instead of reusing Ziploc plastic bags. This will limit the risk of contaminating your food as they may absorb toxins within a used bag. 

How To Recycle Your Ziploc Bags?

In the U.S, the most popular recycling programs are run by Albertsons and Safeway. These two stores accept polypropylene bags such as Ziploc and Hefty OneZip for recycling. However, these must always be clean of any food residue. 

Once a collection is made, the plastics are transported off-site to a recycling center that sheds the bags and other items into different-sized plastic flakes. These can then be used in the manufacturing of brand new products or even as fuel for certain forms of energy production. 

If you’re unable to visit a store, you can place your plastic Ziploc bags into an envelope and mail them to their facility.

Once it arrives, the enclosed Ziploc bags will all be recycled as they are sent to various organizations that produce plastic pellets made from recycled materials. 

Ways To Recycle Ziploc Bags 

There are an abundance of ways to recycle your Ziploc bags. Here are just a few of the easiest options:

  • Make the bag into an ice pack – You can fill a Ziploc bag with water and freeze it. This is a great option for those who do not have easy access to ice packs but need to cool something down swiftly. 
  • Use the bag for leftovers – For easier clean-up, you can place your leftover food into a Ziploc bag. Just make sure the bags are clean of any food residue once it’s time for them to go. But, for storing food, these bags are great! You don’t have to worry about spillages or leaky containers thanks to the unique and reliable zip-seal feature. 
  • Store and organize your lunch – Although these bags are lightweight and flexible, they are also highly durable. This makes them a great choice for carrying around with you when needed. You can even use them to store small items from your home or office such as pens and pencils.
  • Fill the bag with rice – Ziploc bags are extremely versatile. You could fill one, or more, with rice, vegetables, and your favorite sauces to create a nutritious lunch bowl when you’re out and about. You can even fill it with pasta and mix it with pesto for a taste of Italian cuisine. 
  • Make into finger puppets – If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your kids, you could make your Ziploc bags into little finger puppets. Okay, this may sound a little nuts but it really works! Just cut holes into one corner of the plastic bag (around an inch from its edge) and decorate them in whatever way you like. Cut another hole at least three inches from the same side but higher up close to where you would hold the bag when in use. Sew these together with a thread or string but do not stretch either opening out.

In Summary 

You can recycle Ziploc bags in so many ways other than just throwing them into a recycling trash can. Just by reusing these bags in numerous ways, you are helping the environment and reducing waste.

Once the bag has finally come to its end, take it to a recycling center or a grocery store that recycles this type of plastic. This means it will not end up in landfills for years to come.