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16 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

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16 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

Plastic grocery bags are terrible for the planet, but somehow they always seem to make their way into our homes, don’t they? Next time you’re faced with a plastic grocery bag, try one of these ways to give it a new life instead of sending it to the landfill!

Here in the U.S. we use around one billion plastic bags per year, and we only recycle around one percent of them. The rate of recycling is so low because recycling plastic of this low quality is not very profitable. The rest of those bags are landfill-bound. If they don’t make it to the landfill, they break down in sunlight to pollute our air and water or make their way into rivers and eventually the ocean where they become part of the plastic-polluted dead zones known as gyres.

Related Reading: Are Tea Bags Really Compostable?

Of course, banning plastic bags or at least turning them down at the store is the best option – not using these bags in the first place means stores won’t order as many, so the companies that produce them will churn out fewer of them each year. In most places, unfortunately, a bag ban is a long way off, and that means that despite your best intentions, chances are you end up with some of these bags in your home, even if you always remember to bring your own bag to the store.

Rather than feel guilty about the plastic bag stash under your kitchen sink, check out our list on the next page of 16 ways that you can reuse those bags to keep them out of the landfill!

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

150 comments

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5:04AM PST on Feb 3, 2014

thank you for sharing

7:33PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

thanks.

3:03PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

Thanks for sharing. I already reuse plastic bags for trash bags but there were some ideas I hadn't thought of, thanks.

2:33PM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

What is it with this site's obsession with 'using up' a toxic waste (Dioxins people. Look it up) you shouldn't have imported into your house in the first place.
Let's offer another article:
'Bright ideas of ways to use up cat skins'
- And let's see how long it is before some sensible person writes in to say "Why waste your time making things you don't need, making stuff out of the skins of cats? Why not simply stop trapping your neighbours cats and skinning them?! (You nutter)".
And - they'd have a very real POINT.
Please. Just don't take plastic bags from shops.
You've proved you never re-use them. They keep piling up. That's why you're wasting your life making tat out of them.
Leave the bags at the shop and either re-use some of the bags you have already or take a backpack and leave your hands free for waving at friends.
If you MUST do 'Craft' projects, plant some nice fruit'n'veg & you'll find a million things to do with vegetable matter.
This is - after all - what people did before they had to use up the waste products of the oil industry.
Because - yes - that's what plastic is.
Just say 'No' to plastic and grow your own willow or something.

11:35AM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

I like the plarn idea...for crochet

3:01AM PDT on Aug 9, 2013

Nice!
Unfortunately, my cupboard too is a victim of the bag stash.

5:09AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

If we're innovative enough

1:42PM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Sharing,,,, But we should not use them in the first place

11:44AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Great ideas.Thanks for sharing

2:42PM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Thanks

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