Recycling Ziploc bags can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and reuse items. But before you take the plunge into this eco-friendly lifestyle change, it’s important to know what they are, how they are used, their benefits, and why people should recycle them.
What Are Ziploc Bags?
Ziploc bags were created in 1968 by Dow Chemical Company for NASA as a food storage container that would help astronauts eat in space. They have since evolved into one of Earth’s most popular household products – with over 10 billion sold each year!
The name “Ziploc” is derived from ‘zipper-lock cause of its ability to seal air out, so food stays fresh longer. It was originally marketed to keep wet clothes separate from dry items, but it wasn’t long before consumers began finding other uses for versatile storage bags.
What Are Ziploc Bags Used for?
Ziploc bags are often used to store food, as they are airtight and watertight. This prevents spoilage and maintains the freshness of the food. Additionally, you can reuse Ziploc bags multiple times, which helps reduce waste.
Below is an in-depth look at the uses of Ziploc bags:
- Airplan Phone Holders
In the past, many people have used Ziploc bags to hold their phones in place while flying. People did this to keep the phone from moving around and causing distractions during a flight.
Today, there are devices called airplane phone holders that can carry smartphones or tablets instead of using plastic baggies. However, these products have not been as popular as Ziploc bags for airplane phone holders.
- Piping Bag
For people trying to lose weight, Ziploc bags can be used as piping bag substitutes for food. All you have to do is put the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and cut off one corner to form a small tip at the top. Then, you use the plastic tube as you would normally with icing or whipped cream.
Ziploc bags can be reused in this way and allow you to control the size of your portions, which is perfect for people who want to lose weight without feeling like they are restricting themselves from eating certain foods.
- Marinade Bag
Another way to reduce waste is by using Ziploc bags as marinade bags. It eliminates the need for aluminum foil, which cannot be recycled and may also accumulate harmful chemicals when it comes in contact with food while stored in a refrigerator.
You can submerge Ziploc bags into the marinade or other liquids with which you want to flavor your food. Plus, they are dishwasher-safe and can be reused multiple times.
- Can be Used to Make Breadcrumbs
If you have some leftover bread, you can turn it into breadcrumbs using a Ziploc bag. All you need to do is put the bread in the bag and use a rolling pin or your hands to crush the bread until it becomes crumbs.
You can then store the breadcrumbs in an airtight container in your freezer. Additionally, you can then use these crumbs later on, to coat chicken or meat before you fry them, which will give your dish a more flavorful taste.
- Ice Crushers
Another use for Ziploc bags is ice crushers. To do this, you put the ice cubes into a bag and seal it shut. Then, shake or beat on the bag until all of your ice chunks turn into crushed snow that you can use to make cocktails or flavored water drinks. This reduces waste by using fewer materials to make crushed ice.
These are only a few of the many ways you can use Ziploc bags. They help reduce waste and save money, which is why it’s important to recycle them instead of throwing them away once they have been used up.
How Can I Recycle My Ziploc Bags?
Most cities in America do not offer recycling programs for plastic grocery bags. However, this does not mean that you cannot recycle them.
You can either take your Ziploc bags to a local grocery store or recycling center that accepts plastic bag waste, or you can mail them to Terracycle, which is a company that specializes in recycling difficult-to-recycle items.
Benefits of Recycling Ziploc Bags
The following are the benefits of recycling Ziploc bags:
- Reduces waste
As mentioned earlier, Ziploc bags are recyclable. This implies that when you recycle them, they are not disposed of in the environment where they can harm or take a long time to decompose. Recycling plastic items reduces waste and saves space for other things.
- Saves Energy
Recycling plastic bags such as Ziplocs saves Energy because recycling is less processed than producing new materials. This also makes them cost-effective to produce, and this way, they save money for the manufacturers and consumers alike. Organizations can redirect the savings in resources into other areas that need it, more like research on producing the most efficient energy source.
- Reduces Oil Consumption
Since Ziploc bags are made of plastic derived from petroleum, recycling them helps reduce the consumption of oil. The more we use recycled products, the less new materials have to be processed, which means more money saved on production costs and reduced energy usage since it takes away some strain off power plants. This also means a reduced carbon footprint and less pollution.
- Sustainability is Encouraged
When you recycle Ziploc bags, the manufacturers are encouraged to make more of them since they know the demand. This also makes it possible for consumers who do not want to buy new ones but use recycled products instead. Recycling plastic items encourages sustainability and creates a market where producers reuse materials, reducing waste disposal.
To recap, you can recycle Ziploc bags by breaking them down into small pieces and placing them in your curbside recycling bin. If you have trouble doing this, contact your local waste management company to see if they will accept Ziploc bags in their recycling program.
If there is no option for curbside or drop-off programs where you live, check with other people in your neighborhood who are interested in recycling materials together. This could be a great opportunity to start a recycling program in your community!
Ziploc bags are an essential part of our lives and can be recycled to help reduce waste. By following these simple steps, you can make a difference for our planet.