Here in the U.S. alone, we use around 100 billion plastic grocery bags every single year. While some cities have banned the bag, most of us aren’t lucky enough to live in a town that’s nixed those ubiquitous, flimsy grocery bags.
Despite always bringing a reusable bag to the store, plastic grocery bags seem to make their way into my life. Maybe a well-meaning friend uses one to bring over snacks for a night of board games or I accept a used one to tote some goodies home from an unexpected garage sale.
No matter what the reason, I can never bring myself to get rid of all of that plastic. If you’ve got an ever-growing collection of plastic bags making you feel guilty, too, don’t despair! Here are some practical and crafty ways to use those bags over and over, and you can share your favorite ways to reuse plastic bags in the comments!
1. Dirty Clothes – Stick a plastic grocery bag into your suitcase to tote home your dirty clothes while you’re on vacation. It’s nice to be able to separate your clean clothes from dirty ones, and this lets you do it without taking the plastic bag that most hotels provide.
2. Make Plarn – You can cut those bags up and make yourself a ball of plastic yarn for use in all sorts of knit and crochet projects. How cool would it be to upcycle a flimsy plastic bag into a well-made, crocheted one?
3. Fuse It - You can use your iron to turn those plastic bags into durable fabrics.
4. Scoop the Litter Box – Flushing cat litter is a bit controversial, since cat waste contains toxins that’s harmful to aquatic life, and unfortunately, scooping is a fact of life for cat owners. You’ve got to put that smelly litter somewhere. You’re probably using a plastic bag already, so you may as well RE-use one instead.
5. In the Glove Box – If you or someone in your family is prone to car sickness, you can keep a plastic grocery bag in the glove box, just in case you’re not able to pull over in time to avert disaster.
6. At Concerts – Amphitheater shows and multi-day music festivals come with a lot of waste, and the trash and recycle bins seem to always overflow by the end. Instead of piling your empties on top of an overflowing bin, use a plastic grocery bag to take your recyclables home at the end of the show.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by groundsel