Ziploc for life?

The video above is Ziploc’s way of educating the public about how their bags are recyclable if you go through the correct steps of cleaning and drying the bags and then taking them to the local recycling center. It appears that the target audience of this video is adults that have the mental capacity of a child due to the nature of the simplistic style of the cartoon. Ziploc bags are a brand that has managed to dominate their particular industry and have nearly eradicated most other competition when it comes to food storage. Their products, ranging from closet storage, containers, and plastic bags, are all made of plastic. Still this company uses some pretty subtle Greenwashing techniques to make it seem like their company is making a valiant effort to become more sustainable.

Ziploc uses the “Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off” in order to shift the focus of consumers from the fact that plastic production relies entirely on the use of fossil fuels, to the fact that Ziploc bags and containers are recyclable. Ziploc’s website has a sustainability page, which was a bit of a shock to me, but it states that they are committed to sustainable environmental efforts because their products are recyclable (in most communities). They fail to mention how all of the plastics in their products are made from petroleum, which as we all know, is a very unsustainable resource. They also bring up the point that recycling is a good thing because it reduces the amount of energy used to make a product. However, they later mention how the recycled bags become wood composites after being recycled, not plastic bags. This means that each new bag they make consumes an increasing amount of finite resources, and is not a sustainable enterprise by any means. These broad recycling claims could also be categorized in as “Sin of Vagueness” or “Sin of Irrelevance” because the company is making very broad assertions that don’t really apply to the production or distribution of their product. In reality, any product that uses fossil fuels during the production of the product can never be a truly sustainable industry, despite the claims of the advertising department.


2 thoughts on “Ziploc for life?

  1. I will admit, in our household we use Ziplock bags like crazy. However, with my dad and I being as into the environment as we are, we try to encourage my mom not to buy them. So what she has begun to do is rewash them and use them. I like how you state “They fail to mention how all of the plastics in their products are made from petroleum…”. Most people forget that baggies are indeed plastic and don’t technically break down. I also believe it’s good that you included that they used “Sin of Vagueness”.

    Haley Wright


  2. I like how you mentioned that the recycled plastics are used in wood products, not to make new plastics. When people recycle they probably assume that the plastics will be used to make more plastics. If the ad was not promoting their product, the best alternative would be to bring reusable bags to the grocery.

    Louise Hyneman


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