This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.
How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #26 Recycling Disposable Ziploc Bags
I try hard to use Tupperware instead of anything disposable. Using the water and a bit of soap to clean the plastic and then re-use it seems way better to me than buying things I can use once, like plastic baggies for sandwiches and snacks or preserving dinner leftovers. But admittedly, sometimes there is no better answer than a Ziploc for “locking in freshness” and keeping something for longer in the fridge. So can they be recycled?
Here’s the deal. Ziploc and other non-brand-name zip-style baggies are typically made out of the plastic that falls under the category: LDPE, or low density polyethylene, which is definitely recyclable.
LDPE’s recycling process behind the scenes looks like this: collected, sorted, cleaned, stripped of dies and other impurities and re-pelletized (melted and reformed into small pellets) that can then be used in the making of other plastic products that call for LDPE, such as trash bags. Sounds like perfect recycling to me.
The main idea behind properly recycling a ziploc plastic bag is whether your local recycle collection service collects this plastic and processes it. You can always find information from the National Association of Recyclers. The bag itself, and the plastic it has been made out of, is indeed recycleable.
Bottom line? This is another thing that takes a bit of time and effort, but in the end, given the sheer volume of bags most households probably go through, it just might be completely worth it. So when you clean the bags and make sure they are completely empty, you then have to cup the “zip” element off of the bag. Last step? Go here: Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials website and close the loop.
Helpful Links on Recycling Disposable Ziploc Bags:
Search by “Disposable Baggies” or “Ziploc Bags” and “Your City Name or Zip Code” at Earth 911 and find the closest recycling center near you.
Some great information on hard to recycle plastics at Eco-Cycle.
Information on How to recycle (or not!) a Ziploc Bag at The Greenest Dollar.
On Recycling Disposable Plastic Baggies on The Budget Fashionista.
Video on Recycling Plastic Baggies direct from Ziploc.[Photo Credit: Bikudo]