The answers to your environment-Are sandwich bags recyclable?

Are sandwich bags recyclable? Of course, they can be recycled. These can be handed over to any grocery shop along with any other. All containers containing a thin film-like plastic can be given in for reusing. The items include flexible ones, sandwich rolls, grocery containers, and dry-cleaning bags. Even the toilet roll paper that you throw away can be included in your collection. Remember that these kinds that contain this particular layer of the polymer cannot be added to a curbside bin, as this bin is provided for ordinary everyday waste material collection.

Some people will be under the impression that these types of film plastic or sandwich bags etc. cannot be recycled at all, as it is not allowed to be put into the given curbside bins. This is not so; they can be recycled but has to be handed over to the correct collecting points.

This, as well as the many others, are mostly made using a thin sheet of polymer. This is called ‘plastic film’ and has a form #2 or #4 type of polymer called polyethene. This is the same kind of material that is used to make plastic milk jugs, and margarine tubs, also products like:

Are sandwich bags recyclable
Image courtesy

Polyethene Products Examples 

  •  Grocery 
  •  Produce bags
  •  Bread wrappers
  •  Food storage/sandwich bags
  •  Ziplocs
  •  Dry cleaning bags
  •  Polythene packaging, wrapping used for wrapping boxed appliances, diapers, and bathroom tissues
  •  Inserters for cereal and cracker boxes
  •  Bubble wrap etc.


All the above can be used once again as long as it is not some tear able kind of paper. So those items can all be collected and handed over to a grocery store or reprocessing centre.

Before you hand over all of them to the collection point – make sure that they are all clean and all empty of their contents. See that there are no food particles or any other contaminable whatsoever. Wash all of them with soap and water and dry them properly. Remove all the labels, if any. Sometimes, there are a few kinds of films that cannot be put into a bin or given for reprocessing purposes. Make sure what type of they belong to:

  •  Frozen food wrappers
  •  Pre-washed salad mix containers
  •  Compostable or degradable items
  •  Cellophane
  •  Cling wrap
Are sandwich bags recyclable
Image courtesy

More details…

When you hand over your collection of the wrappers for reutilizing or given over at the stores that collect them, they will usually combine all the material that is received. It is then given to the retailer who will collect it from all the store points or locations and put into their collecting trucks, and they will head back to the warehouses that will take them in. This they will sell as bulk, to specialized Recyclers. These Specialty Recyclers have special machinery that can handle and work with these types of plastic films. These bags will then be all cleaned and dried and then shredded into pieces and then melted into pellets and sold to Manufacturers who will then use it to make new products and packages.

The used bags and other plastic films are used to make a lot of products like crates, buckets, pallets, new packaging, containers, and hard and durable lumber, which can be used for backyard decks. It is noted that this is a fast-growing reutilizing product in many areas of the United States, which has seen an 80% increase in plastic film reusing since 2005.

So why are these plastic film bags not collected at curbsides?

Good question. If most of these types are so famous for salvaging, why has it not been added as a collection point at the curbsides? First of all, the bins at the curbsides are put for ordinary recovering stuff like bottles, cans, and containers. They were designed to separate it from all other types of recyclables and were not designed to handle the delicate plastic film bags. So, you must remember, until there is such a bin and place provided for this sole purpose, only do not put these items and do not throw them into the ordinary bins provided for other types of reuse. So, make sure that you keep those away until you find the right place to drop them off.

Are sandwich bags recyclable
Image courtesy

What can we do with used Sandwich bags? Or how do we recycle them at home?

There are many ways in which we can use at home. So many innovative ideas to use to protect the things in your home! Here are just a few of them.

  1.  Take a sandwich bag or a ziplock and cover the padlock in your garage or shed during the rainy or winter season. By doing this, it will protect your lock from getting rusty or frozen.
  2. When in an emergency you need an ice pack, take one, put in a wet cloth and put it in the freezer. You can use this as an ice pack or when you need it when you are having a headache or fever, or some scratches or burns. Simple and easy and very handy.
  3. Collect all those pieces of remaining soap bits into one and seal it shut. Put into a warm water pan and let the soap pieces melt. Once melted and cooled, you will have a new bar of soap. Easy peasy!
  4. Sometimes you forget to add that fabric softener when your clothes are in the washing machine. The best way to get this done is to get one, punch a few holes, fill it with fabric softener, and remember to pour it into it while at a sink. Carefully Ziploc it and chuck it with your clothes into the washing machine, where it will get a good wash, and no need to remember when it has to be added as it has been already added into your washing.

More recycle ways… 

  1. Take seeable ones and use it to pipe your cupcakes, cheese mixture, and egg mixture. Just snip a tiny hole from one corner of it, and hey presto you have a piping wrap.
  2. Use them to store all your crafting and needlework items.  
  3. Take some sandwich bags and use them to marinate your meats and fish — one of the easiest ways.
  4. If you are cooking in the kitchen and using your tablet and phone take the larger ones and slip it inside your tablet, use the smaller one for your phone. This way, it will protect the tablet from getting spills and accidents on to it. Likewise, you can protect your phone from getting wet when at the beach or swimming or you get caught in the rain.
  5. Use them to plant seedlings.
  6. Use them as party treat hangovers. These are good during the festival season, especially during Halloween.
  7. Use more of those for keeping your extra photos in a protective cover.
Are sandwich bags recyclable
Image courtesy

Wrapping up… 

There are many more ideas that you can come up with to make use of those troublemakers.

Last of all if you are going to give those for recycling at a center collect them all into one, and put them in the corner of your vehicle boot, so that when you do get to a recovering point you can easily get it off your trunk and hand it over, rather than going back on another extra trip to get it.

Happy Recycling with all those sandwich bags! 

I do so love those Ziplocs, and they are thus ideal for my crafting projects.

2 thoughts on “The answers to your environment-Are sandwich bags recyclable?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *