How to Reuse and Recycle Plastic Food Storage Bags
Feb. 17, 2022 | Written by Lana Kisner
Plastic storage bags are extremely versatile. Whether you’re storing leftovers or organizing small items, Ziplocs and other plastic storage bags are great to keep around. Sadly, they often end up in trash cans after only one use, but did you know that plastic bags are recyclable?
There are many ways to reuse plastic storage, grocery and produce bags, and these can all be recycled as well. Read on to learn how you can reuse and recycle plastic bags, as well as the benefits of making the effort.
How to Reuse Plastic Food Storage Bags
Plastic storage bags like Ziploc bags are great for storing food and supplies, and they can be washed and dried as needed to be used again. As long as nothing has punctured it, you could use the same bag to take grapes with you for lunch one day and some mixed nuts the next.
Plastic shopping bags and produce bags can also be reused for storage or in small trash cans.
How to Recycle Plastic Bags
Once you’re done using your plastic bags, you can recycle them at one of many recycling centers that accept polyethylene products. You’ll also find a plastic bag recycling bin located just inside of the entrance of many grocery stores.
It is important to remove food and other substances from bags before recycling. Also be sure to remove the sealing mechanism on bags with a sliding seal, as it is made of a different material that can’t be recycled the same.
What Happens to Recycled Plastic Bags?
Plastic storage bags are made from “film”, a clear and thin plastic made with either low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Recycled LDPE is often turned into the composite lumber used in picnic tables and playground equipment, while HDPE becomes things like carpeting and packaging materials.
Upon being recycled, these two types of polyethylene are first separated. They’re then melted into small pellets and sold to manufacturers who use them to create their own products.
The Benefits of Recycling Plastic Bags
Reusing and recycling plastic storage bags significantly reduces waste as well as our carbon footprint. By reusing bags, we reduce how many we go through, in turn reducing how many end up in landfills.
Recycling food storage bags has an even greater impact. Since polyethylene is a petroleum-based product created by burning fossil fuels, recycling polyethylene products reduces the energy, oil consumption, and air pollution involved in making more polyethylene products. Costs in creating new products are also reduced, as are the energy and the cost involved in waste disposal.
Keep Your Plastic Food Storage Bags Organized
Plastic storage bags are versatile and great to keep on hand, but they can easily scatter and create clutter. If you’re trying to figure out how to organize your food storage bags, try a stylish and convenient Wood Storage Bag Holder.
This ECO product has a natural bamboo look to fit your sustainable lifestyle, and an organized 4-pocket design so you’ll always know which bags you have on hand. Once you’re done reusing them, remember to drop them off at your nearest recycling location!