Skip to Main Content
SC Johnson global headquarters campus designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

SC Johnson Finds Way to Recycle Ziploc® Brand Bags From Curbside Bins, Step Toward Increasing Recycling

Breakthrough Brings Company a Step Closer to Recycling Ziploc® Brand Bags from Residential Recycling; Step Forward for All Plastic Film Recycling

SC Johnson has reached a milestone in its quest to make Ziploc® brand bags recyclable from curbside bins.

Finding a way to allow Ziploc® brand bags to be collected curbside and then recycled will boost recycling numbers.

RACINE, Wis., May 22, 2017 - In its quest to make Ziploc® brand bags recyclable from curbside bins, and avoid millions of pounds of plastic from ending up in landfills, SC Johnson announced today it has reached a milestone in that effort – successfully converting flexible film that includes grocery store and Ziploc® brand bags collected from curbside bins into full-size garbage bags.

Developing a way to reuse Ziploc® brand bags is a key step in the process to make recycling available at the curb, along with other types of plastic film. While 18,000-plus commercial stores currently accept Ziploc® brand bags for recycling, those efforts only amount to about 0.2 percent of Ziploc® brand bags sold being recycled. Finding a way to allow Ziploc® brand bags to be collected curbside and then recycled will make the practice more convenient and boost recycling numbers, as only about one-third of U.S. residents currently recycle. 

“For decades we have worked to lighten our environmental footprint,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “It’s who we are. It’s how we operate. And, recycling Ziploc® bags is just one more example.”

The search took the company to Europe. Unlike the U.S., Europe has the equipment needed to wash soiled plastic film to prepare it for reuse and recycling. After converting the rinsed plastic film into pellets, another European company melted down the pellets and converted them into garbage bags. SC Johnson is currently testing the same process in the U.S. with a recycling facility and garbage bag manufacturer. It is also looking into other uses for the material – such as pallets and construction beams. SC Johnson has no plans to mass produce or sell garbage bags made from recycled Ziploc® brand bags, although it will sell limited quantities on its SC Johnson Marketplace by the end of the year.   

For years Ziploc® brand bags have been collected and recycled at commercial stores, along with other plastic bags. But those bags are clean. Ziploc® brand bags and other plastic film tossed in the recycling bin pick up dirt and other grime, reducing its value for reuse. Most recycling facilities in the U.S. “hand-pick” the Ziploc® brand bags out of the recycling stream and send them to the landfill.

SC Johnson has a longstanding commitment to create a positive environmental legacy. In the 1990s, SC Johnson led a national grassroots coalition to promote steel can recycling, resulting in over 5,600 communities recycling empty aerosol cans.

About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 131-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world.