We all use them, going to the grocery two to three times a week to stock our pantries bringing home so many plastic bags. On my last trip without my reusable shopping bags I brought home at least 10 plastic bags. According to research over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. This converts into about 2 million plastic bags used every minute. That is an unreal, hardly imaginable amount of waste that is getting put out into our environment every minute. Plastic bags are not easily decomposed, considering that they take anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years to decompose and break down. What can you do to help? Today I’m looking at not only alternatives to using one time use plastic bags at the store but also what you can do with your remaining bags to make sure they are repurposed and not just heading straight to the landfill.
- Look outside of your neighborhood grocery store the next time you visit and I’m sure you will see a recycle bin for your unwanted plastic grocery bags. This can be a good way to properly and responsibly get rid of the plastic grocery bags you no longer need.
- Trash bags
- Using your plastic grocery bags for small trash can liners is a simple way to re-purpose the bags while also saving you money on buying trash can liners for your home.
- Lunch Boxes-
- Technically, lunch bags. These plastic bags make the easy way to carry your lunch or dinner with you from home to the office without worrying about trying to fit all of your food and containers in a bulky box and trying to zip it.
- Turn it into something else –
- There are many ways and examples of how to turn plastic bags into things like purses, hats, wreath frames, shoes, and even more durable bags! The plastic yarn is called plarn and can be used to make a wide variety of objects that are perfect for your home and everyday use.
- For your pets ‘business’ –
- Getting out and taking your dog on a walk can be such a wholesome and relaxing activity and with that comes their doggy ‘business’. Use the plastic trash bags as an easy way to pick-up and store their ‘business’ until you find the nearest trash bin to dispose it.
- For dirty laundry-
- I like to keep my dirty clothes as separated as possible while on vacation for a variety of reasons and keeping grocery bags on hand lets me easily separate my dirty clothes the whole length of the trip. It is even great for wet clothes like bathing suits and towels from the beach.
- Homemade packing material –
- Don’t fool with buying packing supplies from the post office to ship things that can shuffle during transit. Just pack your breakables in the bags and make sure that the open space is packed in firmly to the box to prevent items from breaking.
- Yard Sales –
- Having plastic bags at yard sales are a great way to encourage shoppers and make the time more pleasant because they can have a shopping bag to carry home. Just encourage them to reuse and recycle it!
There are so many interesting and practical ways to recycle plastic grocery bags to keep them from becoming part of our landfills that I encourage you to try and share your own reuse stories with us at DiscountFilters. I also encourage you to look at making the small investment into reusable shopping bags for your groceries and other needs. Many clothing and fashion retailers give them out as shopping bags instead of plastic or one time use and some stores even offer discount or donations to charities if you bring in your own you bags!