Yes, they are, but differently. Generally, plastic is a BIG no-no when it comes to recycling. This is because there is a lack of awareness about the methodology of plastic recycling. Ziplock bags are one such packaging material that is popular among masses for their wide range of applications and it is difficult to avoid using them. They safeguard the items packed within from dust, dirt and moisture while also maintaining freshness (in case food items are packed).

Plastic Ziplock Bags

 

Today, we all live in an era that demands our utmost attention to the Mother Nature and whatever we use, the first question that arises is - Is it eco-friendly? What impact does it have on the environment? Can it be recycled for further use?

Recycling materials uses less energy than manufacturing a new product using fresh raw materials. This in turn helps preserve natural resources, reduce pollution and prevent trash from getting accumulated in landfills. Thus, recycling aims at protecting the environment for future generations - therefore plastic ziplock bags are separately recycled. 

How is household trash recycled?

The process is called Single Stream Recycling. All the trash is accumulated and carried to a Material Recovery Facility where metals and plastic get separated to be further processed into new products. The items are kept on a conveyer belt for segregation of different materials. Cardboard and paper get separated by a machine that has fast rotating wheels while there are huge magnets to pull out the metallic substances. Certain metals, such as aluminum won't be grabbed by magnet. These are pulled out by another machine called Eddy Current Rotor. The materials then travel down the line into an Optical Scanning System that blows plastic away with a blast of air. Glass then moves to the end of the line and falls into the glass bins.

Why is plastic recycled separately?

Plastic bags, like the Ziplock bags are flexible and extremely lightweight. They also come in different shapes and sizes. Due to these characteristics of plastics, they can get tangled up in the recycling machines during the process of material segregation and cause the whole line to shut down. To avoid such a mess and system failure at the recycling stations, plastics are always collected and recycled separately.

Some of the items that need to be uniquely recycled are ziplock bags, plastic produce bags, toilet paper, plastic shipping envelopes, plastic retail bags, newspaper bags and dry-cleaning bags. So, the next time you think of buying ziplock bags or any other plastic packaging, be rest assured to be environment-friendly by disposing them in recycling centers meant for them.