50 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags


I own several reusable shopping bags and yet, because I often forget to bring them with me or I fail to bring enough into the store, I constantly find myself with a large collection of plastic bags. In my new effort to cut costs wherever I can, I realized these free supplies I can get every time I buy essentials (and forget to bring my eco-friendly reusable bags) can help me save money and trouble all over the place!

Here is an extensive list of ways you can reuse plastic bags  so that you don’t have to feel guilty when the person in front of you looks at you with disdain as she hands the cashier her reusable bag that SHE remembered to bring with her.

 

Attack of the Plastic Bags
Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com / Foter.com / CC BY

 

Uses For Plastic Grocery Bags

  1. Save them to give to customers at your next yard sale when they make purchases.
  2. Use as trash can liners in small wastebaskets.
  3. Use them to collect trash in your vehicle.
  4. Keep an extra one in the car as a barf bag.
  5. Use one as an emergency rain bonnet if the weather turns rainy unexpectedly.
  6. Cover your vehicle’s side mirrors and wiper blades to prevent ice from accumulating on them.
  7. Use them to line the cat’s litter box.
  8. Use them to pick up your dog’s waste during walks.
  9. Use them for soiled diapers.
  10. Use them to hold wet items (e.g. after a trip to the pool or beach).
  11. Use them to separate dirty from clean items in your luggage.
  12. Keep your shoes in them in your suitcase to prevent scuffs or to contain odors.
  13. Store liquid hygiene items in them to contain spills when traveling.
  14. Cut a slit in the bottom and slide them on a hangar over your clothes to keep the shoulders from getting dusty.
  15. Keep them in the car and near the front door to contain muddy shoes.
  16. Use them as stuffing instead of batting.
  17. Use them as packing material when shipping fragile items.
  18. Cover your cast with a plastic bag to keep it dry in the shower.
  19. Use it as a disposable shower cap when you dye your hair.
  20. Wear them over your socks and under your boots to keep your feet dry in snow or rain.
  21. Worn over socks, they make it much easier to put on boots, skates, or other difficult to put on footwear.
  22. Place a wet umbrella in it before putting it in your purse or setting somewhere you’d rather keep dry.
  23. Use them to keep paint rollers or brushes from drying quickly if you want to take a break from painting. If you wrap the bag tightly over the roller or brush and rubber band it on to seal it, you can wait as long as a full day.
  24. Use them as paint applicators instead of a sponge.
  25. Use them to apply wax or polish to items.
  26. Tie them around your knees to keep them dry while kneeling in the soil to weed or garden.
  27. Bring them with you when you go to buy new plants to cover the bottom of the containers and prevent dirt from falling out onto your car’s floor or trunk.
  28. Cover fragile outdoor plants with a plastic bag to protect it from an early or unseasonable frost.
  29. Keep your plants alive while you’re on vacation by creating a mini greenhouse with a plastic bag.
  30. Peel vegetables onto a plastic bag and then just pick up the bag and toss all the peelings easily.
  31. Use instead of plastic wrap to cover a bowl of rising dough.
  32. Put frozen meat in a plastic bag with a paper towel to defrost without a mess.
  33. Wrap your cold water bottles in a plastic bag before throwing it in your bag to prevent condensation from getting everything else in the bag wet.
  34. Fill the bottom of a large basket, bowl or flower pot with plastic bags so the featured items can be displayed more prominently.
  35. Make a toy parachute.
  36. Make a baby crinkle toy.
  37. Make a kite.
  38. Make a rope.
  39. Make a rug.
  40. Make a purse.
  41. Make a wreath.
  42. Make coasters.
  43. Make a fused plastic placemat.
  44. Make a crocheted placemat.
  45. Make gift bows.
  46. Make plastic flowers.
  47. Use it to stuff a DIY pet bed.
  48. Donate them to thrift shops for their customers.
  49. Donate them to food banks.
  50. Donate them to the library for patrons or for use during their book sales.

 

Finally, I’m not sure I could recreate these, but I admire these beautiful pieces of art produced by Virginia Fleck entirely from plastic bags!

Artwork   Virginia Fleck

Comments

  1. Marika says

    I posted about it on one of my blogs as well a while ago. It’s amazing how many ways we can reuse plastic bag, I’m doing it all the time.

  2. Casey says

    We do lots of these things in our household. I hate seeing people just throw them away! I also think it’s important to note that most grocery stores also have recycling centers where you can recycle bags, too; sometimes we get so many that we just can’t seem to use them all, so when that happens, I make sure to recycle them. Thanks for this great post; I hope people will start being more green about their plastic bag use after reading it. :)

  3. says

    This is a great idea for rounding up those pesky plastic bags. I always round up my extra plastic bags and take them to my son’s old daycare. They always need plastic bags for soiled clothes or for bagging a horrible diaper.

    Don’t have a changing pad while out in public, you can use a plastic bag to lay your child on.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted…Smoking During Pregnancy – What Risks Are Involved For Me and My Baby?My Profile

  4. says

    So many uses for plastic bags.. I always tend to have a ton hanging around the house. We use the when we clean up the doggy mess from the back yard or garbage bags for smaller bathroom trash cans

  5. amanda says

    I have so many plastic bags — some from my husband, but for me because i go to the store with one bag and then need 3. eek!

  6. Big Softy says

    For minor paint jobs that require a roller, place the tray inside a bag and pour the paint onto the bag.
    When you’re done just turn the bag inside out and bin. No tray cleanup needed.
    And if you’re using a water based paint for larger jobs, bag your roller and place in the freezer overnight, or longer.

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