Unlikely recycling candidates are gaining ground, including plastic storage bags, batteries, laptops, paint cans and more. Keeping these items out of landfills takes a little more legwork than dropping them off at your own curb, but not as much as you may think.
Storage and Sandwich Bags
You may know that plastic grocery bags can now be recycled at many popular retail locations. But not very many people know that you can bring along your storage bags, like Ziploc®, provided they are clean and dry. Target, Wal-Mart, and more than 18,000 drop-off locations of all kinds exist nationwide for dropping off these items. In fact, over 70% of Americans have local access to a collection program that includes plastic grocery bags, storage bags, dry-cleaning bags and plastic shipping envelopes.
How many batteries do you think Americans throw away each year? According to the EPA, a billion! You likely know that lead-acid car batteries, also known as wet batteries, can be returned to just about any store that sells them. Alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries you use in electronics and toys, also known as dry batteries, can also be recycled. Many major retailers have in-store collection bins, and they accept batteries purchased elsewhere. Ask around as you’re shopping in your community. You can also search for a local drop-off online through call2recycle.org.
Electronics—worth their weight in gold
According to the EPA, recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to provide more than 3,500 homes with electricity for a whole year. Recycling one million cell phones recovers 35,000 pounds of copper, nearly 1,000 pounds of silver and nearly a hundred pounds of gold. Your electronic “trash” is truly the environment’s treasure. Before you toss an item, check with the manufacturer or retailer to see if they offer in-store or online recycling programs.
It’s easy to turn your used plastic Ziploc® brand bags into something new! Clean and dry Ziploc® bags, such as sandwich and freezer bags, are recyclable. Just look for the bin next time you’re at your local participating store. Learn more at www.Ziploc.com/Sustainability.