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Thread: Sustainable Options To Ziploc Bags

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Sustainable Options To Ziploc Bags

    Stupid question no doubt but are there any sustainable (i.e reusable) options to Zip Loc bags for food storage for hikes? Ziplocs are undeniably super convenient and easy for storing food, organizing food and cooking food. But every time I get home from a backpacking trip and see all those plastic bags and foil pouches going in the trash it makes me cringe a bit thinking of the state of affairs of the environment, especially considering virtually every backpacking article and blog advocates the use of Zip Loc bags for just about everything and thousands and thousands of people are doing the exact same thing I'm doing.

    My wife had bought some washable, reusable silicone "zip loc" bags somewhere and they fit the bill but they are quite small, expensive and pretty heavy (I don't believe they were designed for camping). Got me wondering if any of the environmentally conscious folks on this site have any kind of system similar to Zip Loc bags that they have found to be effective. I don't have a huge issue taking a bit of a weight penalty hit for an item with a similar convenience factor but some Google searches I've done really haven't unearthed anything promising. Probably because no such thing exists but with all the innovation showing up on this front of late I figured maybe somebody here has stumbled upon something work a look.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    I use plastic food containers. https://ziploc.com/en/Products/Containers

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    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    I wash, dry and reuse ziplock bags many, many times.

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Some friends used Stasher bags. They were quite happy with them. I did what Mohammed said, but then I bought some Stashers and have been extremely pleased. Could not recommend them highly enough.

    https://www.stasherbag.com/

    Brian

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    I use plastic food containers. https://ziploc.com/en/Products/Containers
    They don't break in your pack or leak? I use these for lunches on the road for various work things and I don't find them very durable. They must take up a lot of space in your pack too?
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    Some friends used Stasher bags. They were quite happy with them. I did what Mohammed said, but then I bought some Stashers and have been extremely pleased. Could not recommend them highly enough.

    https://www.stasherbag.com/

    Brian
    This looks similar to what my wife came across but bigger, lighter and with more options. This might be what I'm looking for. Thanks.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    They don't break in your pack or leak? I use these for lunches on the road for various work things and I don't find them very durable. They must take up a lot of space in your pack too?
    There are more rugged food containers available, if that's what you prefer. Plastic containers do take up more space than Ziploc bags, especially when empty, but they also protect food (sandwiches) better than flexible bags. I carry my food in a stuff sack or plastic bag and can't remember having any failures or not being able to fit all my food in my packs. YMMV.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    It depends on what I'm packing. If possible, I'll use a container, but may place them inside a zip lock bag. We have a few containers where the lids snap onto the bottom on all four sides, very secure. Day hikes may be the same thing reusing the bags over and over, sandwich and quart bags inside a gallon bag that may be used for a year, the smaller bags do get used some. We have a second small refrigerator with a meat drawer we don't use for meat for regular meals. It's my defacto hiking food drawer and it's in the same zip-lock.

    For the troop Weeklong canoe trip, we spent hours changing bulk food into individual snacks for scouts four years ago. Two years ago, we looked at fun size M&M's raisins, etc. The raisin boxes were for starting fires and we zip-locked trash only. (Food boxes are old military metal boxes with waterproof seals.
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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    Some friends used Stasher bags. They were quite happy with them. I did what Mohammed said, but then I bought some Stashers and have been extremely pleased. Could not recommend them highly enough.

    https://www.stasherbag.com/

    Brian
    Thanks for the reference — these look perfect for replacing Ziploc bags for hiking/camping.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    We use plastic containers quite a bit.

    They keep things from getting squished, and they are light and reusable. I would not put liquids in them, but that's what Nalgenes or thermoses are for.

    The other thing is convenience. We repackage everything into plastic bags, so we don't need to try to fumble with plastic bags, or whatever, in sub-0 temps. There is also less garbage to fly away or accidentally drop on the trail.
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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    According to the manufacturer they are recyclable.

    https://ziploc.com/en/sustainability-and-safety

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    Yes they can be recycled but few municipal recycling organizations accept them.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Yes they can be recycled but few municipal recycling organizations accept them.
    I agree, now, what would we be willing to pay for ziploc like bags that come in a box or package that turns inside out and is a self address container for shipping the bags back to the manufacturer for recycling. They obviously have the ability to handle the raw materials..... (That would be taking a hands on approach for a manufacturer to address waste.
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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Yes they can be recycled but few municipal recycling organizations accept them.
    A quick google search says that Walmart accepts them as well as many supermarkets. I have no first hand experience here, but it's easy to find out if the ones near you do.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    A quick google search says that Walmart accepts them as well as many supermarkets. I have no first hand experience here, but it's easy to find out if the ones near you do.
    As part of the plastic shopping bag recycling? For a while those were taken out of stores due to Covid-19 guidelines. Now with the current info being that it's more particle based and not contact, plus a general fatigue of social distancing and mask wearing, I would expect them back into stores or they soon will be.

    Meanwhile, my town hasn't put back the port-a-lets at town parks. (and I know the head of Public Works)
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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