10 Ways to Reuse Plastic, Poly Bags


When you visit your local grocer, chances are that your groceries are gently packed into plastic, poly bags by a bagger. This simple act often lends itself to a full drawer, cabinet, or closet stuffed with empty grocery bags. If using plastic bags is your truth, you’re not alone.

“The U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually.” Source: The Wall Street Journal. The average American family takes home 1,500 bags each year. Of those, 90% are discarded. Source: Environmental Protection Agency. Before you discard another bag, consider giving some of the following ideas a try.

  1. Trash Cans – Reuse a plastic bag to line small trash cans, like those found in the bathroom, instead of buying new plastic can liners. Just imagine the money you’ll save.
  2. Packing – If you’re packing something fragile, for instance holiday decorations, wrap it in several bags instead of bubble wrap. The same rule applies for shipping items.
  3. Scoop the Litter Box – Scoop the litter box with leftover plastic bags. You can also line the cat box with plastic bags.
  4. Wet Clothes – Stick a plastic bag into your gym or pool bag to tote home your wet clothes. It’s nice to be able to separate your wet clothes from your dry ones.
  5. Dog Waste – One great way to reuse plastic bags is to pick up dog dropping on walks. If you don’t have a dog yourself consider donating them to an animal rescue.
  6. Diaper Duty – Dirty, stinky diapers are less smelly when they are placed inside of a plastic bag, tied up and then immediately disposed of.
  7. In Your Car – Place a plastic bag in your car, and hang from a convenient location, for trash. This tip is especially helpful on long road trips.
  8. Donate Them – Charities, food pantries, hospitals, day cares, and your local library can all benefit from the donation of plastic bags.
  9. Use Them Again – Plastic bags can be used over and over again – just like reusable bags. Just make sure not to overload them.
  10. Recycle – Of course, if you cannot think of any other use for plastic bags, recycle them. Many retailers now offer recycling in the front of their stores, either inside or out, where your bags can be placed for recycling.
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