What to Do With Those Plastic Grocery Bags

What to Do With Those Plastic Grocery Bags

OK, so the first thing to do with plastic grocery bags is: Nothing. Don't use them.

 

Plastic grocery bags are a huge polluter. Don't believe me? Go visit any drainage ditch after a huge storm and you'll see dozens of them wrapped around trees and plants. Animals choke on them, they back up storm drains. They're really bad. That's why some cities, like Austin, Texas, for example, have actually banned them. Instead, folks there use reusable, washable cloth shopping bags. It's not that bad and you learn to remember to bring them when you go shopping.

 

Not ready to take that leap into the reusable yet? Well, here are a few ideas for how you can at least get some additional use out of the plastic bags, delaying their eventual journey into some turtle's mouth. 

 

Use them as trash bags. We all know this one, right? They're great to line smaller trash cans, like the ones in your bathrooms. 

 

Use them for animal waste. Whether it's to clean a cat box or pick up doggy doo, these bags make great clean up tools.

 

Use them as lunch bags. When I was a kid and my mom would run out of the brown paper lunch sacks that are (or were?) ubiquitous for middle and high schoolers' lunches, she would just throw our lunches in a plastic grocery bag. At the time, I thought it was so embarrassing. Now, I think it was resourceful. Why spend money on something else disposable? 

 

Use them as shipping/moving padding. For the love of god, don't purchase bubble wrap! Plastic bags are great for wrapping fragile items for moving or for stuffing into boxes you're shipping.

 

Get crafty! From rugs to baskets to plant hangers to friendship bracelets, there are a ton of ideas for repurposing plastic bags on Pinterest

 

Recycle them. Nowadays, you'll find a plastic bag recycling center or bin in most grocery stores. When in doubt, just bring the bags back to the store and either reuse them or toss them in the recycling bin.

 

What'd we miss? What else do you do to reuse plastic grocery bags?

 

 

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