Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why worry about plastic bags?

In my last post, I asked what you would do if they quit making plastic grocery bags, but why worry about them, anyway? Sadly, most of the trillion or so plastic bags used each year are simply tossed in the trash and taken to landfills where it takes hundreds of years for them to degrade.

Besides the more mundane uses like carrying things other than groceries, plastic bags can be used very creatively. Just look at some of the things I found on Etsy that are made from plastic bags!

According to Reuseit, the average family in America
brings home around 1500 plastic bags in a year's time. That's a lot of plarn!

Frugal folks, we're not doing our job here. Not to make light of the situation, but just think about all those plastic bags and how you could use them.

  • Make a seasonal wreath according to the colors of bags you have. Bend a wire hanger, use a wreath form or cut a narrow one from sturdy cardboard. Cut uniform pieces from the plastic bags and tie them to the form. Push them closely together to fill the space completely. This is prettier than it sounds!
  • There are instructions on the internet for making "plarn" which you can use to make a lot of things, including rugs for wet boots, shopping bags and placemats.
  • Use a plastic grocery bag as a disposal glove if the job doesn't require too much finger dexterity.
  • Tuck a couple in your pocket when you go for a walk to pick up aluminum cans, trash or treasure.
  • If you're taking a dish to a potluck or picnic, put it in the bottom of a plastic grocery bag, pull the handles up and tie them firmly.
  • Take a few to the beach or swimming pool to carry bathing suits and other wet things home.
  • When you're cleaning house or cleaning out a closet, etc., hang plastic bags on the door handle and put things to throw away or give away in separate bags. Use a different color for each to make it easier.
  • Organize your freezer with plastic bags.  Ground beef in one, frozen vegetables in another and so on. Or gather things for use later, like hotdogs and buns.
  • Need a shower cap? Use a plastic bag and twist it to fit. Tuck the twisted ends underneath and you're good to go!
  • When you take a break from painting (even overnight), slip your paint brush inside a plastic bag and twist it closed. The paint won't dry out.

That should be enough to get started! If you have more tips on how to use them, please let us know.

1 comment:

  1. We recycle them at Walmart, but even that isn't enough. To recycle plastic, new plastic is added. Another thing people could do is carry them back to the store and reuse them for carrying groceries. The best thing is to take fabric bags and reject plastic. There's a documentary about it "Plastic Paradise".