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Five Creative Uses For Plastic Shopping Bags

Updated on March 20, 2012

Did you know there are approximately 380 billion plastic bags used every year? A majority are tossed into landfills and only 1-2% of all plastic bags are recycled. Out of the 380 billion approximately 100 billion are shopping bags. So how much waste are we creating in our landfills? Enough to wrap a large plastic ribbon around the Earth 63 times, as reported by Washington

300,000 tons of waste is dumped into our landfills per day. The numbers are staggering. Instead of throwing the bags into our landfills , there are useful ways to use the plastic bags.

Our home has always been Eco-friendly, finding ways to use plastic bags is a simple day-to-day task. But if you could change the percentage of plastic bags going into landfills would you do it?

Creative Ways to Use Plastic Bags

One of the most common uses of using a plastic bag is to remove animal debris. Many stores have turned to using recycled plastic, so check the bag before using. Take two bags and use one for the feces and the other as a glove. Not only are you getting a little exercise by bending and picking; but you can also take one bag and add it to the recycle bin. The second bag you can tie and place it in the garbage. Since the bag has already been recycled it is more bio-degradable then a normal plastic bag.

Instead of purchasing little plastic non-recycled bags for your bathroom garbage can, use the recycled plastic bag to line your can. If you like things neat and tidy like myself, you can tie the bag to make it fit snugly in the can. Or if you have a lid on your bathroom garbage can it is hidden easily.

If you have children and don't really care about how nice a kite looks. Find the largest plastic bag you can find and create a kite. Large Kohl's, Target or Wal-Mart bags are the best. Let them use color or erasable marker to add a little pizzazz, before they fly it in the air. Easily stored and it does not rip to shreds like most store bought kites can.

Have you ever gone to a shoe store and they are all out of booties? Fearful you may get athlete's foot or some other unknown fungus, you choose not to try the shoe on? Carry a recyclable plastic bag with you and use it as a booty. Unless you are Shaquill O' Neil the bag with fit over the average sized foot and you can slide the shoe on and off easily.

If you wish to get a little more crafty and have little ones at home. Go to any craft store and find child-safe non-toxic paint. Take several plastic bags and lay them flat. Place a food can in each corner to hold the plastic bag down. Have them paint designs, faces, people, flowers or whatever they chose to design. Let dry. Cut a 3x5 or 5x7 square from cardboard, glue work of art onto paper and frame. You will be able to save the work of art for years and will be keeping a few plastic bags out of the landfills.


Will you now become more Eco-Friendly?

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    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      i4u: Thank you and best wishes to you too! :)

    • profile image

      i4u 5 years ago

      A good concerning hub for the eco friendly world.

      Wonderfully written too.

      Looking forward to more.

      Best wishes!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      rosika: Thank you. I enjoyed writing five creative uses for plastic shopping bags. Glad you appreciated. :)

    • rosika profile image

      rosika 6 years ago

      This is such a creative and eco-friendly way to make use of used plastics...great hub! voted up!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      nina64: Think of what you are doing for our World. You are reducing waste in the landfills, by giving them a purpose. If you have waste in your bathrooms when you bag it, so of that may be able to recycle too. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      kelleyward: It is fun and great advertisement. You also save a few dollars and help save our Earth. Have fun! :)

    • nina64 profile image

      nina64 6 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      I mostly use my plastic bags as liners for my bathroom & bedrooms. I also use them when I clean out my refrigerator to dispose of old, smelly foods. I'm pretty sure there are other uses but those are my main two uses. Great hub. Voted up!!!!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 6 years ago

      Useful hub I really like your idea for making a kite. Will try this with my boys ASAP!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      The Frog Prince: Aaawww.. you are to kind. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Simone-Smith: It is actually pretty cool! Great advertisement for the companies too. So pick your favorite bag and share! :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      mepperly: That is a good idea. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Sally's Trove: I have noticed that some of the bags have holes in the bottom too. Maybe they need to adjust the thermostat when they are creating the bags. lolo! Glad you enjoyed. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Dexter Yarbrough: They work! I know it may look peculiar but I like having nice feet. I do not like when I go to a department store or shoe store and they do not have any booties. I carry a bag with me where ever I go. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Fred Smedley: If only they would do that in the U.S. Unless recycled plastic bags are bad for the environment and should be banned. I like the city in the UK's idea. :)

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      AEvans - Marvelous Hub! Just the headline made me wander over thisa way. Say Hey!

      The Frog

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Whoah- I've never seen a plastic bag kite before! I totally want to try this XD

    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 6 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      i use the for packing up fragile things to ship in my eBay Biz.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      These are great ideas. Love the bootie...I never would have thought of that. For the most part, we take plastic bags back to the stores for recycling, but sometimes we use them for doggie doo, in which case we use two bags, one inserted into the other. Some of those plastic bags have little holes in the bottom! Up, interesting, useful. :)

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Great, creative ideas AEvans! I use these bags for everything but didn't think about using them as booties. Voted up!

    • Fred Smedley profile image

      Fred Smedley 6 years ago from Devon, United Kingdom

      About 10 miles from where I live is a small village which, a couple of years ago, was the first in the UK to ban plastic bags. All shoppers must use their own bags and are encouraged to use those which are bio-degradable. It has caught on in a big way and most people are now consciously cutting down on the use of plastic. Just need to get the big supermarkets on board and those mountains of rubbish in the landfills could be drastically reduced.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      lord de cross: Thank you. I would highly recommend using the bag at the shoe store. People around you may find it peculiar but you are saving your feet from something mysterious. :)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago from New York

      Excellent ideas and the tip for the shoe store is simple but we have never thought of. You did a great job AEvans.


    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      TrahnTheMan: Using for lunch is perfect! Or you can use them for a mini-trash can for your vehicle. They are useful and after your done just simply recycle. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Angelo52: I do that too.:) The question was creativity with plastic bags. But the totes do come in handy, if more people would use them less would be in the landfills.

    • TrahnTheMan profile image

      TrahnTheMan 6 years ago from Asia, Oceania & between

      I started to take my own bags tot he supermarket not so much because I was trying to be green, but I just had so many plastic bags at home they were becoming a pain. I still forget to bring my own bags in to the store sometimes but I'm getting better at it! I use old bags to take my lunch to work.

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Good article. All the ideas are good but if you really want to cut down on plastic bags why not use reusable totes? Voted up & useful.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Helena Ricketts: That is so neat that you create rugs out of them. Sadly many plastic bags end up in the Ocean and our landfills. People need to take more time to go Eco and utilize plastic in different ways.

      You can also use plastic bags for insulation, purses, to cover your wet shoes, for storage etc. The list goes on and on. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Cardisa: For some the poo part could be a little tough. lolo! But for me or others I would rather use a bag to pick it up with then a shovel. A shovel will carry disease on it and you have to clean it. Ugh! Anyway so glad you are using them in your garbage and bathroom bins. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Victoria Lynn: That is wonderful to hear! I use them to and anytime I can recycle I do. Thanks for the thumbs up! :)

    • Helena Ricketts profile image

      Helena Ricketts 6 years ago from Indiana

      It's amazing how much plastic ends up in our oceans and in landfills. These are great ideas for reducing the waste in the world.

      We take our plastic bags and cut them into strips for crocheting rugs out of them. More time consuming to do but the rugs can turn out really interesting and they are usually waterproof, depending on the store they come from.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      What great ideas! I turned my nose up at the poo part but still a great idea. We use ours for garbage and the bathroom bins.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Love it! I use these bags in most of my trash cans, for scooping cat litter, and on walks with my dog. Walks get his bowels moving! I love to reuse and recycle. Informative, useful hub! Voted up!


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