The History of Ziploc bags & A Zero Waste Alternative!

The average American family uses 500 Ziploc bags every year. This seems insane, since ziploc baggies are created to hold something for a moment of time. After the person removes that item from the bag, it is discarded in the trash or recycling. Yes, many ziploc baggies can be recycled, check out to see if your city recycles them in my Recycling Guide HERE!!! Needless to say, these baggies can’t be recycled an infinite amount of times. When they do end up in the landfill, oceans, or other areas of the planet they can be detrimental to our health and the environment. In this post, I will be going through the history of the plastic baggie, and an alternative that will help you reduce your waste and save you money in the long run.

In 1951, an inventor named Borge Madsen applied for a patent for a plastic slide fastener, which was the precursor of today’s familiar zip lock bag. His original design was slightly more complex than the current version and it looked like a traditional zipper with a tab. The same year, the company Flexigrip was founded with the intention of developing and marketing a product based on Madsen’s invention. As a result, he came up with the “press and seal” type of zipper that we most commonly use today.

Currently, the Ziploc is a brand name for plastic storage bags and many other products made by SC Johnson. The baggie is made out of either a low-density polyethylene (or LDPE, which corresponds with plastic #4) or high density polyethylene (or HDPE, which corresponds with plastic #2). Most film is recycled into composite lumber, a highly durable building material that is used for decks, benches, and playground equipment. These are great items, but they can’t be recycled again. All of the recycled plastic baggies will eventually end up in the landfill.

What if I could give you an amazing option that was waterproof and does NOT contain lead, phthalates, BPA or brominates and is tested for contact with foods! The Etsy shop BeegoHandmade creates amazing food pouches out of lightweight cotton and a Food, Medical Grade and Waterproof fabric for the inside lining of the pouches!!! They come in amazing patterns, including my personal favorite below!

I take them everywhere with me, including on weekend get away trips to ensure that I always keep snacks on me at all times! They are easy to clean with some soap and water, no washer machine or dishwasher necessary!!! These pouches do start off at $10 dollars each, which can be a little pricey. When you add up the amount of money you pay per year for ziploc baggies, these bad boys pay for themselves! Best of all you are supporting a thriving small business run by a women named Adriaan who currently lives in Richmond VA, where she creates all of the baggies!!

Best of all, she has offered a Coupon Code: ZERO15 for 15% off from now until March 24th 2018!! If you are in the market to purchase some amazing, durable, and waterproof baggies, I highly recommend checking her shop out!

Jonesboro AR Recycling Policy

Jonesboro AR Recycling Center

For information on where to recycle metal and bigger pieces of material that won't fit in your curbside recycling bin, please visit: or the Jonesboro Recycling Team at 5403 Vance Dr Jonesboro, AR 72401.


Recycling Policy 

It took me a while to find any sort of information about recycling in the Jonesboro area. Unfortunately, many areas like Jonesboro do not make it easy on their residents to learn how to recycle correctly. Below is more information on what you can and cannot recycle! 

You can visit their website here to purchase a blue recycling bin and look up your local recycling pick up schedule. Unfortunately, they don't have a ton of information on how to recycle properly. However, I will be continuing to update this page as the town begins making more strides in recycling. 

According to their website here is a list of what you can and cannot recycle. 

What Can You Recycle:


  • #1 PET Plastics - Most water and soft drink bottles.  There are other items made of PET, just check the bottom of things like clear plastic drink cups.
  • #2 HDPE - Milk jugs and other liquid containers.  Just check the bottom for the number 2 in the recycling triangle.
  • Currently the the market for other plastic is depressed and we are unable to find buyers for the products so we are asking that you dispose of those.  When the market changes we will be able to accept again.

Aluminum: We accept Aluminum Beverage Containers (cans) which can be recycled over and over again.  Other aluminum like foil and pie pans are not accepted at this time but there may be opportunities for those in the near future.

Steel Cans (Tin): Tin cans and other metals can be place in a blue bag and other metal that is to large for the bag may be brought to the recyce center.

Glass: We accept clear and color glass containers.  Glass has no value but there are companies that will pick it up and recycle it.

Cardboard: We accept all cardboard that is not contained with oil or food waste.

Paper: Newspaper, magazines, junk mail and most clean paper products including shredded paper.

What You Can Not Recycle: 

The following items are not accepted

  • Tires
  • Wood
  • Mattress
  • Furniture
  • TV's
  • Computer Monitors
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic Auto Parts
  • Used Diapers (you would be surprised how many we get)

Compost Policy

I couldn't find any information on how to compost properly in this area. 

Package Free Shopping 

Since Bea Johnson's app is closed for the time being, I will update this area of the guide once it's back and running! 

Fort Pierce Florida Recycling Policy

Fort Pierce Florida Recycling Center

There are multiple Recycling Centers in Fort Pierce Forida. Please check the link below to find the one that is closet to you.


Recycling Policy 

Like many other cities and towns, Fort Pierce Florida has a single stream municipal recycling system that allows for residents to recycle more of their items. As always, ensure that all items are clean before placing them in the recycling bin. Below is a list of items that can and cannot be recycled. For more information please check out the main website:

Do Recycle


·     Junk mail, catalogs and envelopes (no need to shred)
·     Shredded personal documents (place in paper bag only)
·     Boxes like cereal, pasta, frozen dinners and drink cartons
·     Shoe boxes / Cardboard boxes (flattened). Boxes containing, packaging peanuts, Styrofoam or trash will not be collected.
·     Newspaper, magazines, shopping ads
·     Phone books / Clean paper of all kinds
·     Protective paper wrapping on shoes, purses, etc.


·     Aluminum, tin and steel
·     Aluminum cans, foil & pie tins
·     Food cans for things like vegetables and soup
·     Metal drink cans - sodas, energy drinks, etc.
·     Other beverage cans
·     Empty aerosol spray cans
·     Aluminum foil and trays
·     Metal lids
·     Cookie Sheets, pots & pans
·     Manual can openers


·     All plastics #1 through # 7
·     Water/soda bottles
·     Detergent & Fabric Softener Bottles
·     Soap and shampoo bottles
·     Milk and juice jugs
·     Butter, sour cream and yogurt tubs
·     Syrup, peanut butter & squeezable bottles
  **remove water bottle caps before placing in the recycling cart.


 ·     Glass bottles and jars (all colors)


·     No Plastic Bags
·     No Paper Towels or Tissue
·     No Bottle Caps
·     No Food / Clothing / Shoes
·     No Batteries or Hazardous Waste
·     No Garden Hoses / Wood
·     No Propane or helium tanks
·     No shrink Wrap or Styrofoam
·     No Yard Waste or Tree Trimmings
·     No Electronics or Toys
·     No Juice Boxes or Pouches

For more information please check out the Quick Reference Guide
View a quick reference guide.

Compost Policy

I wasn't able to find any information on how to compost in Fort Pierce Florida or if they have curbside composting. However, I was able to find some information on the Synagro website, where they do provide a ton of information and other resources on how to compost correctly. It looks like they do have facilities in For Pierce Flordia. For more information and to check them out please visit:

Package Free Shopping 

Since Bea Johnson's app is closed for the time being, I will update this area of the guide once it's back and running! 

Washington DC Recycling Policy

Washington DC Recycling Center

The Main Recycling Center in Washington DC is at 2000 14th Street, NW. 


Recycling Policy 

Washington DC recycling system does take a ton of items that many cities and towns Below is a list of items that you can and cannot recycle. Please make sure that you clean all of your recycling items. If you don't, then the majority of your recycled items will end up in the landfill. 

Materials we can recycle:


Cups & Containers

Flattened Cardboard

Milk, Juice, & Soup Cartons


Books/Phone Books

Junk Mail & Office Paper

(all items clean & empty)

*No Tissue


Cups & Containers

Bottles & Lids

Bulky Items

(all items clean & empty)

*No Plastic Bags

*No Foam Polystyrene

*No Straws or Utensils


Steel & Aluminum


(all items clean & empty)

*No Paint Cans


Glass Bottles / Jars

(all items clean & empty)

*No Windows or Ceramics

For more information on Boston's recycle policies please check out:

Items You Cannot Recycle: 


Peanuts (foam packaging)

Plastic Bags and Plastic Wraps: Plastic bags, wraps, and film of any color, size or shape are no longer accepted in DC’s Curbside Single Stream Residential Recycling. Find more information here.

Compost Policy

Washington DC doesn't have curb side composting. You can bring your compost to the many Farmer's Markets in the DC area. For more information on how to compost properly, I have attached a link to the website here:

Package Free Shopping 

Since Bea Johnson's app is closed for the time being, I will update this area of the guide once it's back and running! 

Buena Park CA Recycling Policy

Buena Park CA Recycling Center


Recycling Policy 

Buena Park CA makes it easy and convent to recycle by taking pretty much anything you can think of. From plastic bags at the local grocery store, to shredded paper Buena Park CA takes more items than any other city or town that I have researched thus far. The main reason being that they have a stream line recycle system and have dedicated a ton of time to ensure that less waste ends up in our landfill.  You can also start or stop service at any time by filling out a forum online. Below is a list of items that you can and cannot recycle. Please make sure that you clean all of your recycling items. If you don't, then the majority of your recycled items will end up in the landfill. For more information, please check out their website:

Materials we can recycle:

Glass Bottles & Jars

Recycle all food and beverage containers—clear and colored glass. No need to remove labels though.


Flatten or cut boxes to a size that fits comfortably inside recycling cart.


Recycle your newspaper and everything that is delivered with it—including inserts, coupons, etc.


Recycle aluminum cans and steel cans—including clean & dry paint cans, and empty aerosol cans. Also, recycle aluminum foil.

Plastic Containers

Recycle all rigid plastics, such as bottles, jugs, and jars, marked  to , and all beverage containers labeled "CA Redemption Value" or "CA Cash Refund" including:

  • Food & Beverage Containers — Milk, soda, water, salad dressings, cooking oil, yogurt containers, cottage cheese containers, etc.
  • Jars & Canisters — Peanut butter jars, mayonnaise jars, aspirin bottles and 35mm film canisters.
  • Cleaning Products & Detergents — Bleach, detergent, soap, shampoo, drain cleaners, etc. (Containers must be empty.)
  • Automotive & Yard Care Products — EMPTY motor oil, antifreeze, plant food and herbicide containers.
  • Miscellaneous Rigid Plastics — Including, but not limited to, plastic buckets with metal handles, plastic drums, totes & empty garbage cans, plastic milk crates, kitty litter buckets, laundry baskets, lawn furniture, and pet carriers, plastic toys, plastic agricultural trays/pots, plastic pallets, and other mixed plastic containers.

Look on the bottom of a plastic item and you should find the "chasing arrow" symbol with a number in the center like the two shown ( to ).

Mixed Paper

Recycle virtually all clean and dry paper including: writing paper (all colors), computer paper, Xerox paper, "no carbon required" (NCR) forms, catalogs, brochures, magazines, junk mail, phone books, post-it type notes, and shredded paper (place shredded paper inside paper bags to contain shreds). EDCO accepts them all, PLUS if those items have staples, window envelopes, or even those little metal clasps on legal envelopes, they're OK, too! But, please, no large metal items like clasps on Acofastener notebooks or 3-ring binders.

You can also recycle cereal boxes and other clean food packaging, including cake boxes, flour bags, frozen dinner boxes, paper egg cartons, and soda/beer 12-pack carrying boxes. Also recycle paper grocery bags, gift boxes, shoe boxes, paper gift wrap, calendars, and core tubes from paper towels, etc.

Recycling Alternatives:

  • Plastic grocery bags can be returned to grocery stores for recycling or they can be reused.
  • Batteries and light bulbs need to be disposed of properly and not placed in trash or recycling containers. 

Large items

Items that are too large to place in blue recycling cart can be dropped off at no cost at any of the Buyback Centers.

  • For more information on Boston's recycle policies please check out:

Package Free Shopping 

Since Bea Johnson's app is closed for the time being, I will update this area of the guide once it's back and running! 

Boston Massachusetts Recycling Policy

Boston MA Recycling Center


Recycling Policy 

Boston Massachusetts recycling center does take a ton of items that normal recycling centers wont accept. However, if you do not place the right items into the recycling bin, they will fine you. You can place your items into a recycling bin, a clear plastic garbage bag, or into a blue bin provided by the city. This makes it very convent and easy to be able to recycle. Below is a list of items that you can and cannot recycle. Please make sure that you clean all of your recycling items. If you don't, then the majority of your recycled items will end up in the landfill. 

Materials we can recycle:

  • Newspapers (with inserts)
  • Magazines and Catalogues
  • Junk mail (remove free samples)
  • White and colored paper and brown bags
  • Telephone books
  • Paperback books
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Juice and soy milk boxes
  • Flattened food boxes
  • Flattened cardboard boxes (no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet; must be bundled and tied)
  • Glass bottles and jars (lids and labels are OK)
  • Tin and aluminum cans, foil, and pie plates (lids and labels are OK)
  • All plastic containers (Caps and lids included; no motor oil or chemical containers)
  • Cardboard and spiral cans (like potato chip, coffee, and nut cans)
  • Rigid plastics (such as laundry baskets, buckets, and toys)

What You Cannot Recycle: 

Material we can't recycle:

  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic bags
  • Motor oil containers
  • Chemical containers
  • Ceramics or dishes
  • Light bulbs
  • Window glass and mirrors
  • Yard waste
  • Food waste
  • Televisions
  • Computer monitors

For more information on Boston's recycle policies please check out:

Compost Policy

Boston MA doesn't have a municipal Composting System. However, they do have bins for sale and a ton of information online on how you can compost both inside and outdoors. This makes it super simple and convent for people to compost, even if they live in a studio apartment. You can also put your yard waste out to the picked up and composted. If you leave your yard waste with your garbage, it will be thrown into the landfill. For more information on how to compost please check out:

Package Free Shopping 

Since Bea Johnson's app is closed for the time being, I will update this area of the guide once it's back and running! 

Beaverton Oregon Recycling Policy

Beaverton Oregon Recycling Center 

Information on All Recycling Centers in Beaverton Oregon can be found HERE!! 


Recycling Policy 

Beaverton Oregon has a ton of items that they can be put in your curbside recycling bin! I have included a list of the items that are and aren't allowed in your curb side recycling bin. The Beaverton Oregan website has a ton of information on what to recycle correctly and how to reduce your overall waste. Make sure that you clean all of your items before placing them into the recycling bin. Beaverton, like many other cities and towns around the United States, DOES NOT ACCEPT PLASTIC BAGS. Make sure you are placing your recyclables into the bin or into a paper bag that will go into the bin, unless specified otherwise. 

Do Add to the Recycling Bin:

Cardboard (flattened)
Magazines and junk mail
Paper bags
Milk, juice and soup cartons (rinsed)
Shredded paper (in a paper bag)
Bottles, tubs, jugs and jars
Nursery pots (larger than four inches)
Buckets (five gallons or less)
- Empty and rinse
- Six ounces or larger in size
Ignore number on containers; they indicate plastic resin type, not recyclability
Aluminum, tin and steel food cans
Metal paint cans
Aerosol cans and aluminum foil
Scrap metal (smaller than 30 inches and less than 30 pounds)
- Empty and rinse
- Do not flatten cans
- Can tops are OK if crimped inside can

More information here: 

Do Not Add to the Recycling Bin:

Blister packs
Plastic utensils
Brewed coffee containers
Plastic bags
More not acceptable items

For more information please take a look on their main website:

Compost Policy

Luckily, Beaverton Oregan is very compost friendly and advises their residents to set up a compost in their backyard. As of October of 2017, residents who have yard debris collection service can add food scraps to their yard debris roll cart - now called a composting roll cart. Composting food scraps with yard debris creates nutrient-rich fertilizer and reduces our impact on the environment. 

The website also advices how many businesses and start a composting bin, especially for restaurants and school cafeterias. For more information, please check out the links below. 

Home Composting System

Work Composting System

Package Free Shopping 

Bea Johnson's app is currently down. I will be updated this portion of the Guide as soon as it is back up and running again. 


Litchfield CT Recycling Policy

Litchfield CT Recycling Center


Recycling Policy 

Now Litchfield CT residences have access to curbside recycling that gets picked up once a week. But, the recycling center also takes a lot of other recyclable items that can't go in your bin. All of the information can be found HERE!!! 

Please do not put your recyclables in plastic bags and also clean all your items before you put them in your bin. 

The town of Litchfield CT also has access to information on how you can donate, fix, and recycle everyday items properly!!!! Find that info HERE!!! 

Compost Policy

Guess What?! Litchfield CT has a Municipal Composting System!!!! This means that they have curbside composting. By putting your compost into a bin, the city is able to produce their own organic and natural soil to sell back to you, businesses, and farmers. This will help you reduce your trash even further without actually having to make your own compost pile. For all the information on what the Litchfield Composting System allows check out HERE!!! 

Package Free Shopping 

Since Litchfield CT is very small, there aren't a ton of Package Free shops. Hopefully once of these are close and can be a resource for you. However, I highly recommend checking out local farms and markets, since I know that their are a lot of them in CT. (FYI I live in CT). 

Back to Earth

1315 East Main Street (Rte 202)

Torrington, Connecticut


Health Food Corner

390 Main Street

Winsted, Connecticut


Garden of Light

395 West Main Street

Avon, Connecticut


The Fresh Market

321 West Main Street (Rte 44)

Avon, Connecticut


Whole Foods Market

340 North Main Street

West Hartford, Connecticut


Orange County CA Recycling Policy

Orange County CA Recycling Center 

Information on All Recycling Centers in Orange County can be found HERE!! 


Recycling Policy 

Unfortuantley, Orange County doesn't have a curb side recycling program available to all of their residents. However, Waste Management is a company that will provide a bin and pick up your recycling on a weekly basis. Now they won't show their prices online, so I am not sure how much is would cost on a weekly or monthly basis. However, their are a ton of different recycling centers around the Orange County area. Hopefully you will be able to find a center near you. Information on how you can recycle with Waste Management HERE!!! And a list of recycling center can be found HERE! 

Compost Policy

Unfortunately, it looks like Orange County doesn't have curbside compost; however they have a bunch of resources for backyard composting and indoor apartment composting. I will have more links down below. I would also check in with farmers at your local farmers market to see if they could accept your compost. I would also highly recommend checking in with friends and family to see if they have a compost pile that you can drop your food scraps off too. 

How to Compost Indoor and Outdoors

What Can You Compost

Package Free Shopping 

Depending on where you live in Orange County, I think it's important to recognize that Farmer's Markets are the best package free option because they are local, plastic free, and usually cheaper than main stream grocery stores because there are no middle men. So I highly recommend asking around and checking for local farmers markets. However, if you can't find any, or for other food items that you can't find at the farmer's markets. I highly recommend checking out these package free stores! 

Whole Foods Market

2847 Park Avenue

Tustin, California


Whole Foods

2847 Park Ave.

Tustin, California


3775 Alton Pkwy

Irvine, California

Wholesome Choice

18040 Culver Dr

Irvine, California

Mother’s Market & Kitchen

151 E Memory Ln

Santa Ana, CA


3030 Harbor Blvd

Costa Mea, California

+1 (714) 751-6399

We Olive

3313 Hyland Ave. 

Costa Mesa, California


Savory Spice Shop

3313 Hyland Avenue 

Costa Mesa, California

(949) 284-0576

Mother’s Market

19770 Beach Blvd.

Huntington Beach, California

714) 963-6667

Whole foods

7881 Edinger Ave 

Huntington Beach, California


HB Farmers Market

15851 Gothard St

Huntington Beach, California

(714) 892-8600

Mother’s Market

24165 Paseo de Valencia

Laguna Woods, California



1447 S. Harbor Blvd.

Fullerton, California

(714) 441-1233

Northgate Market

710 W Chapman Ave

Placentia, California

(714) 528-1171

Philadelphia PA Recycling Policy

The Philadelphia Recycling Center 

3850 W Ford Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19131


Recycling Policy 

Very similar to other cities and towns in the United States, Philadelphia has a single stream recycling center, which means you don't have to sort your recycling. Please make sure that everything is clean and DO NOT PLACE YOUR RECYCLABLES INTO A PLASTIC BAG. This will clog up the system and make them have to shut down the center. I have left a full list of what you can and cannot recycle HERE! 

Compost Policy

Big Points for Philadelphia, who plans to be Zero Waste by 2035!!! Now they don't have curbside compost for everyone yet, they do have a company who for $18 a month plus the amount of the bin, will pick up your weekly compost. You can also purchase soil from them for your garden, plants, and lawn! More information can be found on their website HERE!  

Package Free Shopping 

Philadelphia is a big city. It's great that they have ton of package free stores!!! Please comment below if you have any other places that I should add to the list!! 

Everything fresh

1222 Walnut street 

Philadelphia , Pennsylvania


Whole Foods Market – Callowhill

2101 Hamilton St

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(215) 557-0015

Essene Market & Cafe

719 S 4th St 

Philadelphia , Pennsylvania

+1 (215) 922-1146

Mariposa Food Co-op

4824 Baltimore Ave

Philadelphia , Pennsylvania


Weavers Way Coop

559 Carpenter Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Weavers Way Coop

8424 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Creekside Co-op

High School Rd

Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

(215) 557-4480

Moms organic market

1149 Lancaster Ave

Bryn Mawr, Pa



Martindale’s Natural Foods

1172 Baltimore Pike

Springfield , Pennsylvania


Whole Foods Market

500 West Germantown Pike

Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania



Pawcatuck CT Recycling Policy

The Stonington Transfer Station

151 Greenhaven Road in Pawcatuck, CT.


Recycling Policy 

During my research, I couldn't find anything for Pawcatuck CT, but rather Stonington CT. I will be exploring the recycling policy for Stonington, with the expectation that Pawcatuck is the sam policy. They are a single stream recycling center, which makes it easier for residents to recycle all of their paper, plastic, and metal materials; even metal hangers, plastics #3-7, and small pieces of metal. However, please DO NOT place these items into a plastic bag, as the plastic bags clog up the single stream system and force the facilities to shut down for repair. The recycling center also allows, batteries, light bulbs, and other such materials that aren't usually recycled. However, I you shouldn't put these in your curb side bin, as they need to be separated and dealt recycled properly. More information on what exactly you can recycle on the curb and at the facility HERE!

Compost Policy

Unfortunately, the town of Pawcatuck CT don't have curb side or companies that provide curb side compost pick up. 

Package Free Stores

According to the Bulk App on the Zero Waste Home website, there seems to be only one Bulk Store in Pawcatuck CT, however their are a few farms and other places near by that my be of some assistants to you in your search to grocery shop package free! 

Cottrell Brewing company

100 Mechanic Street

Pawcatuck, Connecticut

Maize n’ Manna

40 High Street

Westerly , Rhode Island

Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island

63 Canal Street

Westerly, Rhode Island

Stonington Village Market

22 Bayview Avenue

Stonington, Connecticut