The good news is, yes, the Ziplocs can be recycled just like any other. But remember that you cannot put them in your usual dumping bin, where the rest of your bags and other stuff are put in. They need special handling and need to be placed in a separate container for collection. You can also reprocess these yourself at home. There are many shops, grocery stores, and collecting centers that will also take them over for recovering. All you have to do is visit one of your local grocery stores and ask them, and they will direct you to the collecting facilities or even have their bin in the grocery store. These can be reused and repurposed, just like the other containers that you use in your daily life. The best place to find out all this is from your grocery store.
These packages are used all over the world, especially so in the United States of America, where it is believed that about 500 of them per family are used each year, which is about 58,164,139 for a year! It is almost a staple in the US to use this type in every household kitchen, so you can imagine the garbage that will collect with the discarded amount – Just think, if all these were disposed or thrown away there will be a mound of plastic waste reaching up to the skies and the sky is the limit! The processing and making of these bags too contribute to various hazards because of the chemicals and gasses that emit, thereby polluting the air and environment. But, the good news is that these are also taken in for salvaging. Many collection centers are sprouting up now, accepting these for reusing purposes.
Well, these are just another storage bag of different sizes with a fancy name given by the people. These were developed for easy, secure, and tight storage by SC Johnson about 50 years ago. The bag can seal itself super fast as there are two plastic pieces on either side of it so that when closed, the two plastic parts on either side meet together and shut tight. Hence the name ‘Ziplo.’ It is trendy among all housewives to store food and other items in these bags. Many titles are given to this very same type e.g., sandwich, snack packs, reseal, etc.
The Ziploc has many ways of shutting itself tight. The classic zip is the one where you press both sides together, and then both sides interlock itself together, namely, the two plastic pieces. The more recently manufactured Ziploc bag is with a tiny plastic tag when pulled, shuts tight. These are good to store frozen meats and fish as they are airtight and great for freezing. These bags and the sandwich bags are made with a product called a thin film. The kit of a movie like a thing is a small plastic made with either low-density polyethylene (or LDPE, which corresponds with the recycling #.4) or high-density polyethylene (or HDPE which corresponds with the recycling #2.
Most of these film-like things…
Most of these film-like things, as it is called is recycled as composite lumber, which is a highly durable building material used for various things like building materials that are used for decks, benches, and playground equipment. Once this thin film is put into garbage bins, it is so lightweight that it is liable to get carried away for winds and litter the roads and neighborhoods. So, you have to be very careful as to which bin that it is put into. Once it flies all over the place, it becomes a nuisance and messes the area and also pollutes the environment, and finally will end in a dumpster. So, when this is taken for recycling, it will start to mess up with the recycling machinery, so be careful of how you discard or reuse it.
Are Ziploc bags recyclable?
There are so many uses for them besides being sent to be reused. It can also be used with other repurposing film wrappers, shopping bags, dry cleanings, etc., and produce bags. If you are not sure of where to go and give your collection for reutilizing, there is a website named the plasticfilmrecycling.org. You can click open this link and find out your location’s collecting points so that you can hand them over to them. However, there several places that collect these or film plastic as it is known. Some collecting centers need that the zip part is removed before it is given for reutilizing, and all these bags should be collected and put into a giant bag before it is handed over or dropped into a bin.
The best thing about using these is that you can use and reuse them for a very long time. This will save your money on buying them over and over again once you start to reuse them. It will also save so much of landfills too. Once you have used it several times over and can no longer be used again, you can send it for recycling. Just put it into the correct bin at the store, and it’s off for a new recycling product. As simple as that!
Is it safe to reuse Ziplocs again and again?
Since the bags are FDA approved for its given purpose, you can reuse them. But like everything else, remember to wash them out properly with soap and water and have them dry out in a vast open space or well-ventilated area. We do not know what is in the plastic itself other than the additives and plasticizers in the bags, but since it is an approved product, hopefully! It would be safe to reuse them as much as possible.
Please do not use them for cooking an egg or omelet. As it is not feasible to immerse them in boiling water or use in a microwave, (especially for the ones that were manufactured sometime back). This, as mentioned earlier, is made from polyethylene plastic and can melt at a 195-degree Fahrenheit. Some people may have used this method as an easy way out when out on picnics. However, since of late, there are new Ziploc bags released by the Johnson Company, which are heat resistant products that are safe for cooking.
These come with the ‘Ziploc® Brand Zip’n Steam™ Microwave Steam Cooking Bags’ and feature patented steam vents that will allow the bag the maximum steaming pressure needed to cook food at a higher temperature while retaining its moisture. So, if you want to cook on your trips and picnics, you can use these unique cooking bags of the same type if you like. I, for one, would not want to use a Ziploc to make omelets! Ugh! It is a definite no for me. The choice is yours.