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We try not to use plastic grocery bags, instead opting to bring reusable cloth bags to the store. But lots of times those bags never make it out of their home nestled beside the battery charger in my trunk, or worse yet get left in the house after a grocery trip.
Those endless plastic bags we are dragging home from the store are polluting our waterways, and killing wildlife. Not to mention, the amount of garbage we generate as a society is just wasteful. I’m reminded of my grandma who washes and reuses her aluminum foil and ziplock baggies. That is the mindset I was raised with, yet I am as guilty as anyone else of being wasteful. I have a cabinet full of wadded up plastic bags that I feel guilty throwing away, but after a little research I have found some fantastic ideas to use them. Today I am going to give you 10 ideas on how to reuse plastic bags.
1. Recycle Them
This is about as simple as it gets. Many stores, like Target, have a bin when you first walk in the door where you can recycle plastic shopping bags. Make it a habit to bring them back once a week/month, and don’t allow them to pile up in your cupboard. I have gotten in the habit of leaving a plastic bag stuck on a cabinet handle, and stuffing the extras in it. I HATE the aesthetics of having a bag hanging off of my cabinet, so it motivates me to bring them with me every time I go to the store.
2. Use Them As Garbage Bags
We use plastic bags as garbage bag liners in all of our smaller trash cans. There are trash cans that are specifically designed to reuse plastic bags, too. Plastic bags are also great to use when decluttering. Grab one for trash and one for donate, and sort as you go. Don’t forget to keep a plastic bag in your car to catch any trash, too.
3. Use Them As Storage Containers
Bu cutting off the top of a 2 liter plastic bottle, you can turn any plastic bag into a temporary storage container. This seems like it would be a great idea for camping!
4. Make Yarn Out Of Them
It may be the craft-supply addict in me, but I think this idea is brilliant! Plastic bags can be turned into “plarn” and then knitted or crocheted into endless variations of useful items.
5. Use Them To Pick Up Dog Poo
I have spent a ridiculous amount of money over the years on plastic bags to pick up poop. That’s right, as a responsible pet owner I pick up after my dogs when they leave little presents out in public. Plastic bags can be rolled together for easier transport and used instead of buying doggie waste bags!
6. Make A Basket
Who knew it was this easy to make an actual, functional basket out of plastic bags? These would even be cute for Easter baskets or gift baskets.
7. Make A Mat For The Homeless
You might have seen this idea floating around Facebook, but I love that it kills two birds with one stone. You can make plastic bags useful, and help someone who truly needs it.
8. Make A Wreath
This wreath would be super cute with a few Christmas ornaments sprinkled in! This would make a great gift, too.
9. Make A Pillow
I can already hear the crinkly noise this pillow would make, but what an economical idea if you are looking for some outdoor pillows! I think one or two of these would be darling on my bench outside.
10. Make Pom Poms
I LOVE this creative idea to make pom moms out of plastic bags. These would make a cute garland if strung together, adorable bows for packages, etc.
This is far from a comprehensive list of ways you can reuse plastic bags, but I hope it stimulates your creativity and gives you an idea of how to start reusing them. Small changes can really add up to big things. If we were all a little more mindful of bringing our own reusable grocery bags, and reusing and recycling the ones we do have, it could have a tremendous impact on the environment. How do you reuse plastic bags?