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Don’t Have Plastic Bag Regret: Recycle Your Sandwich Bags!

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Practically every school day growing up, I’d sit down to the cafeteria table to eat my lunch and I’d pull out a PB&J that my mother had stuffed into a Ziploc® bag. This ritual lasted for years until I was too cool to bring a PB&J to school. I then upgraded to much fancier sandwiches wedged into plastic bags; turkey and swiss, jelly and cream cheese, and the like. Oh, the days before mommy bloggers, Pinterest boards filled with healthy lunch ideas, Michael Pollan, (and sites like Eco-Chick…)!

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A fact I recently learned sparked this childhood reflection. Ziploc bags, when clean and dry, are recyclable at more than 18,000 retail locations – including large retailers such as Target and Walmart.

Now my only lunch regret from my school days is that I never recycled the thousands of plastic bags I used for my snacks and sandwiches—they all went off to the landfill (doh!).

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In fact, Ziploc brand bags can be recycled in the same bins as plastic shopping bags and certain locations—like recycling centers and retail stores—have set up drop-offs for plastic bag recycling. If only my mother and I had known way back when!

Here’s a handy list of items that can be dropped off at a recycling location near you (so you don’t have plastic bag regrets):

  • Ziploc® brand bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Dry-cleaning bags
  • Bread bags and produce bags
  • Toilet paper, napkin and paper-towel wraps
  • Plastic shipping envelopes
  • All clean bags labeled #2 or #4

Not sure about exactly where those recycling locations are near you? You can search Earth911’s directory simply by inputting your to-be-recycled item, and your zip code, and you’ll get a list of places you can recycle anything.

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This post on raising awareness that Ziploc® brand bags are recyclable is sponsored by Ziploc®.

 

Lindsay has spent her career at the intersection of media and social change. In her role at Eco-Chick, Lindsay has established partnerships and campaigns with some of the world’s most-recognized companies committed to sustainability and CSR. She co-created the popular interview series “Heroines for the Planet” that features groundbreaking women who share courage and a deep passion for protecting people and the Earth. Lindsay is the Marketing and Sustainability Manager at Health-Ade Kombucha and previously served as Director of Communications at the social enterprise CBS EcoMedia. There she directed corporate advertising dollars to the nation’s most effective non-profits tackling urgent social issues in local communities and was awarded CBS Corporation’s prestigious Share-the-Vision award. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, From The Grapevine, EarthHour.org, Eco-Age.com, and for environmentalists Laura Turner Seydel and Susan Rockefeller. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.