5 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

Contrary to popular belief, soft plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled by your average curbside recycling service. They have a tendency to jam machinery and tangle around things that they should not. Many retailers provide bins to collect soft plastics and later send them to a different recycling center that is better equipped for them. There are also ways you can use plastic bags at home to prevent them from ending up in your neighborhood or a landfill. The best option is to not use plastic bags at all, but if you have some at home and want to make the switch to reusable fabric bags, here is a list of what you can do with your old plastic.

Plastic Bags Help Pack

Instead of tossing old plastic shopping bags, use them to protect fragile items as you pack. If you are moving, they can act as a buffer for your glass and ceramic kitchenware and absorb any shock if jostled. They will remain intact and not break. You can also use them to fill the rest of a box if it is too heavy to fill completely, but you do not want the contents moving around.

This is even helpful in packing a suitcase for a trip. Use plastic bags to wrap your shoes before packing them, that way they do not transfer dirt onto your clothes. You can also wrap any toiletries or makeup products that may leak. This way, it only leaks on the bag and not on your belongings. Keep the bags in your suitcase after the trip to use again and again.

Prevent the Effects of Frost

In freezing temperatures, tie plastic bags onto the side mirrors of your car. This makes it so you will not have to scrape ice off your mirrors in the morning when you have to leave. This also works if you need to protect plants from a late frost. Just cover them up and they will be fine.

Stuff Decorative Pillows

If you have some decorative pillowcases, you can fill them with plastic bags to keep them looking plump. It may not be the most comfortable, but this is only for decoration. Stick to real pillows to sleep on in your bedroom.

Keep the Shape of Shoes

It can be a pain when a pair of shoes or an accessory is smashed and loses its shape. Use plastic bags to fill shoes (just like the paper you find in them when you purchase shoes) to keep their shape and prevent them from distorting. This also works for purses and hats. You can continue to use these bags many times because it does not matter if there are holes in them or not.

Make Plarn Decorations

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Plarn, the name given for making yarn out of plastic, provides a way for you to decorate and reuse your plastic multiple times. You can weave bags together to make a jump rope that is just as good as the cheap ones at the store, which also saves you money. Others have used plastic bags to make sandals, bags, rugs, and even cushions. A plarn rug would be great outside on the porch or in the garage to help keep dirt out.

Conclusion

Once again, the best option is to opt out of using plastic shopping bags at all. They take hundreds of years to decompose, and even if they are recycled, there are still tons of plastic bags still being made. This is an option if you have had some bags in your home and are looking for a way to make the most of them. Just be conscious of what you have and try to make the Earth a little greener!

Image Source: Pixabay

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Lacey Jolley
 

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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