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Because You Asked

Can Bread Clips Be Recycled?

By Recyclebank |

Don’t overlook bread clips just because they’re small! You might be able to recycle them.


Dear Recyclebank,

I was wondering if you could recycle those colored bread clips in a curbside recycling bin. I know you could reuse them for projects but I was wondering about the proper disposal of them.

-Crystal D.

Dear Crystal,

In case people are wondering what you are referring to: Bread clips or tags (sometimes bag clips or tags) are the little, hard plastic closures that allow you to open and re-close food that comes in plastic bags, like bread and produce. Since these tags are used for packaging many basic food items, your grocery shopping trips can leave you with several plastic clips that can quickly add up.

Originally developed in the 1950s by the Kwik Lok Corporation, most bread clips are composed of plastic #6 polystyrene (PS). Most people are familiar with polystyrene in foam form (Styrofoam), but it’s also used to make rigid items such as CD cases, disposable kitchenware, and bread tags. Rigid polystyrene can be recycled, but it’s not commonly accepted by curbside recycling programs, so it typically ends up in landfills or incinerators.

To properly dispose of them (without sending them to a landfill), check with your city or waste hauler to see if your recycling program takes #6 plastics. If #6 is accepted, be sure to also check if bread clips specifically are fine to go in the recycling bin. Because of their small size, they could pose a problem to some recycling processors. If your city doesn’t accept #6, your best bet is reusing them or avoiding packaging that utilizes these plastic clips.

Or buy fresh bread packaged in paper as an alternative to plastic-bagged bread. If you have a great bakery in your neighborhood, take along a reusable bag to carry out your just-baked bread home. Store it by reusing a produce bag with a bread clip to close it, in an air-tight container (reusing those tin containers that used to hold biscuits and flavored popcorn work great), or a bread box. If you want to avoid both the bread clip and the plastic bread bag, try baking your own bread!

SOURCES
Kwik Lok Corporation
All-recycling-facts.com
Nation of Change
Recycle Nation
Earth911

What do you do with your bread clips—recycle, reuse, repurpose, or trash? Or have you found a way to avoid them? Share your experience in the comments below!

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • tommy b. 3 months ago
    today
  • CJ Y. 3 months ago
    Use for placement markers for bingo games at my school.
  • Sykia M. 7 months ago
    I certainly reuse the bread clips
  • Nancy V. 1 year ago
    I've found a number of ways to reuse them, but my favorite is to upcycle them into label art! ♻❤
  • Lucy S. 1 year ago
    What about twist ties - the ones with paper covered wire? I've used the long ones for bundling wires, but what about the short ones??
    • christine w. 11 months ago
      I use mine over & over until they fall apart. In fact, sometimes I cut reg sized ties in half. These are great for closing plastic bags to freeze sub loaves separately. I find twisting the reg length over & over time consuming. So the shorter length is quick and easy. I keep those in a plastic bag to separate them from the regulars. When I need one sub roll, i don't need to defrost the whole pkg. I use those plastics over again to collect fruits/veg remains. I've eliminated fruit flys from taking over my kitchen this way. Unfortunately, we don't compost. Baby steps.
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