Yesterday, MNN’s business blogger Melissa Hincha-Ownby told us that Ziploc and RecycleBank have joined forces for a recycling program for Ziploc bags. I know that Ziploc and other sandwich bags are recyclable, but I didn’t know just how easy it was.

Her post was specifically about a program in which you can earn rewards through RecycleBank for taking Ziploc products to specific locations. It turns out that Ziplocs and all plastic sandwich bags can be dropped off at any bin that takes plastic grocery bags. I followed her link to the rewards program page at Ziploc.com and saw some information that surprised me.

Here’s a list of items you can recycle at these locations:

  • Ziploc bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Plastic retail 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
I had no idea that all these plastics could go into the grocery bag recycling bin. Still unsure if the information at Ziploc.com was accurate, I went to the website of the grocery store where I shop: Wegmans. On Wegman's Sustainability FAQ page, there was a link to what can and can't be recycled in the bins out front.
  • Produce bags
  • Furniture wrap
  • Plastic food storage bags e.g. sandwich baggies (clean and dry)
  • Plastic cereal box liners (if it tears like paper, do not include)
  • Tyvek (no glue, labels or other material)
  • Diaper wrap (packaging)
  • Case wrap (e.g., snacks, water bottles)

On Earth911, you can use the site's recycling location tool to learn where bags and other items are accepted.

Look at all of that — diaper packaging, electronic wrap, the plastic wrap from around paper towels — all stuff that I have thrown in the trash at one point or another because I had no idea how to recycle it. Now it turns out that recycling it is easy.

It’s still best to limit the amount of plastic you buy. Recycling uses energy, water and other resources and creates its own stream of waste. However, it’s nice to know that some of the plastic I use doesn’t have to live in a landfill for hundreds of years. Between the landfill and recycling, recycling is the better option.

Also on MNN: What to find out what else you can recycle? You'll be surprised

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Recycle sandwich bags, dry-cleaning bags and much more
You'll be amazed at all the plastics you can put in the plastic bag recycling bin at the grocery store.