Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by storm. storm Wonders, “why did someone invent plastic bags” Thanks for WONDERing with us, storm!

Do you eat school lunch every day in the cafeteria? Or do you sometimes pack a homemade lunch from home? If you pack your lunch every once in a while, chances are you use resealable plastic bags.

Resealable plastic bags — sometimes called by a brand name, such as Ziploc® — are those little clear plastic bags you use to keep your sandwiches and chips fresh. They usually have some sort of sealing mechanism, like a plastic zipper, that allows you to seal the bag to keep out air.

Keeping air away from foods allows them to stay fresh longer. Bacteria and other organisms in the air will break down food items over time if allowed to come into contact with them. Sealed plastic bags keep these organisms from getting to your food.

Resealable plastic bags can be used for more than just transporting sandwiches, chips, and snacks to school for lunch. They're also used to keep leftovers fresh in the refrigerator. Many people also use them to store food in the freezer for use in the future.

The history of the resealable plastic bag starts out in 1951 at a company named Flexigrip, Inc. Flexigrip developed a plastic zipper from patents it bought from inventor Borge Madsen. These zippers were originally used as parts of binders and briefcases.

Over time, however, plastic zipper bags were developed. Eventually, in 1968, Dow Chemical Company began to market its Ziploc® brand of resealable plastic bags to grocery stores. They turned out to be very popular.

Today, these types of bags are available in many different sizes and styles, from snack and sandwich bags to craft and freezer bags. You can also buy bags with expandable bottoms that stand on their own. Some bags even allow you to steam food in the microwave!

Resealable plastic bags can be used for so much more than just storing food, though. Here are a few other common uses for these handy bags:

  • Jewelry: Many people use resealable plastic bags to store small pieces of jewelry, including beads.
  • Office supplies: Want to keep track of tacks and paper clips easily? Store them in convenient resealable bags!
  • Games: Always losing the cards or dice from your games? Keep these items together in a resealable plastic bag and you'll never be searching for those missing pieces again.

Today, many people try to use less plastic because of its effect on the environment. Manufacturers of resealable plastic bags have taken steps to become more environmentally-friendly. For example, Ziploc Evolve bags contain 35% less plastic and are made using wind power. They're also packaged in recycled paperboard.

Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.L.3, RST.6-8.3

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