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Give Those Plastic Shopping Bags a Second Chance12/29/2017

All that holiday shopping can leave you with a surplus of plastic shopping bags, and unfortunately not all recyclers accept that kind of plastic. Give those bags a second chance with our at-home “recycling” tips!

Use old plastic bags as packing cushion. Instead of buying pricy bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts, wrap up breakable objects in plastic grocery bags and use them to pack any empty spaces in the box. This is great for bags with holes that can serve no other function, and perfect to pack up your Christmas ornaments!

Make “plarn” for craft projects. Short for “plastic yarn,” plarn is made by cutting strips out of plastic grocery bags that are then strung together into a single strand. Instead of using traditional yarn, you can knit or crochet with plarn to make all sorts of craft projects (reusable bags, mats, purses, etc.). Click here to learn how to make plarn and get crafting!

Did you know you can fuse plastic bags into a durable “fabric?” Take a few plastic bags and an iron on the “nylon” setting and stick those bags together. They can then be used for craft projects, like washable and reusable sandwich bags.

Reuse plastic bags as garbage can liners. While grocery bags are typically too small to use in a standard kitchen trash can, they’re perfect for mini bathroom wastebaskets! Instead of buying specialized mini trash bags for smaller wastebaskets, just pop in a grocery bag instead.

Use old plastic bags to cover your shoes. It’s always tricky figuring out where to put shoes when packing a suitcase. You don’t want to get your clothes dirty, and if your shoes have a bit of an odor, you really don’t want them to stink up everything in your luggage. The solution? Simply wrap your shoes up in old grocery or ziplock bags. This protects your shoes as well as everything else in your suitcase.

Old plastic bags make perfect pooper-scoopers! Why buy expensive plastic bags at the pet store to pick up your pets droppings when an old grocery bag will do the trick? Just tie a couple around your pet’s leash before you head off on a walk and you’re good to go!

Line your cat’s litter box with shopping bags. Take your larger plastic bags and pop them on the litter box just as you would a trash can. It makes cleanup a breeze!

If your plastic bags are in good enough shape, simply bring them with you when you go shopping and reuse them again- just like you would a canvas tote! Or when all else fails and they’re tattered beyond re-use, most supermarkets have a designated bin to drop off the bags for recycling.

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