There are a number of sustainable, creative ways to reuse plastic bags. Follow this guide to reduce your environmental impact and save money around the house and garden.
The environmental impact of single-use plastics is nothing new. Approximately 85 percent of single-use plastics end up in landfills annually, plastic bags included. Moreover, single-use plastic bags are made using fossil fuels, accounting for even more environmental damages through greenhouse gas emissions.
Thankfully, we can all make our own contributions to reduce carbon emissions and lessen the load of waste in landfills. Reusing plastic bags is just one way you can reduce the need for more single-use plastic bags to be made and help waste prevention.
Follow this guide for sustainable, useful and creative ways to reuse plastic bags and help save the environment, as well as improve your own life in practical and fun ways.
Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags
- Reuse for grocery shopping: Instead of buying new grocery bags every time you go to the store, remember to reuse what grocery bags you already have.
- Line trash cans: Save yourself money by reusing old plastic bags as trash bags in smaller bins around the house.
- Pack shoes in your suitcase: Prevent your clothes from getting dirty in your suitcase by wrapping them in old plastic bags.
- Use as a wet bag when swimming or going to the beach: Next time you head to the pool or beach, bring a plastic bag to put your wet swimsuit and towel in after.
- Reuse as dog poop bags: Every penny counts, especially when you need to spend money on little things like poop bags. Reduce your weekly spending and reuse plastic bags as dog poop bags (just make sure there are no holes in the bag beforehand!).
- Store paint brushes and rollers for later use: When you are getting creative and artsy, wrap your paint brushes and rollers in plastic bags to save paint and stop your brushes from drying up.
- Help shoes retain their shape: Stuff old plastic bags into your shoes to help them keep their shape.
- Line the cat litter tray: Save yourself the hassle when emptying the cat litter tray by lining it with plastic bags to make cleaning easier.
- Empty the vacuum cleaner: Next time you have to empty the vacuum cleaner, use an old, dirty plastic bag to refrain from using a new bag.
- Protect outdoor plants from frost: When frost is predicted, cover your outdoor potted plants with plastic bags to protect them.
- Plastic bag pom poms: Choose brightly colored old plastic bags and make beautiful and fun pom poms out of them! Simply cut one long ½-inch ribbon using the whole bag (as you would peeling an orange). Using a small rectangle of cardboard (roughly 2.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide), tightly wrap the long ribbon around it. Hold the ribbon in place and carefully remove the cardboard, making sure the ribbon keeps its tight shape. Using a small piece of string, secure the ribbon using a tight knot in the middle. Then cut the looped ends of the ribbon with scissors on either end. Neaten the ends where needed, and fluff out the strips to make a fluffy pom pom!
- Plastic coasters: Create your own colorful coasters by cutting six circles from a plastic bag, layering them on top of one another and sandwiching them between two pieces of paper before ironing them together. Iron for ten second-intervals about three times, before flipping the plastic bag circles and repeating.
- Plastic bag baskets: Replace your crochet wool with plastic bag braids and make your own baskets for around the house and outdoors. Simply cut old plastic bags into strips and braid them before crocheting them into baskets as you would normal crochet baskets.
- Recycled plastic bag totes: You can make plastic bag totes by weaving strips of plastic bags together. Best of all, plastic bag totes are not just handy, but more waterproof than regular tote bags.
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