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30 Ways To Reuse A Plastic Grocery Bag

Updated on November 10, 2013
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"The answer my friend is blowing in the wind." Although I doubt Peter, Paul and Mary were singing about plastic grocery bags, sadly this is the case in most towns. Look up in almost any city and eventually you will find discarded plastic grocery bags. How could you not? Each trip to the store can easily result in a handful of bags. Many people toss them in the trash or worst, they escape and end up littering our streets.

Reusable cloth bags are wonderful....if you can remember to take them with you. Let's face it, even the best of us get caught off guard and end up going to the store without them. So, what's to be done if you find yourself with plastic grocery bags? The ways to make use of these bags are as endless as your creativity.

30 Ways To Reuse A Plastic Grocery Bag

1. The most obvious solution, that probably everyone has used is to turn the bag into a small trash can liner. Bathroom trash or home office trash cans are small and frankly, why spend money on special liners when this is free?

2. Keep a bag or two in your glove box for sick passengers or remove trash on road trips.

3. I love this tip and do use it from time to time. I like to cook from scratch but hate the cleanup. I place a bag on the counter and peel my veggies directly over the bag. When done, you can easily carry the scraps to the trash or compost pile if you have one.

4. Not all areas offer curb side pick up for recyclables. Plastic bags offer a simple way to tote your recyclables to the recycling shed. I do not produce much trash in general, and same goes for my recycling. A large trash bag is impractical for me. So I sort my recyclable bin by type and put each type into a grocery bag. So when I stop by the recycling shed, my bags are sorted and easy to carry to their designated bins.

5. Why not save them up for your next yard sale? You can finally get rid of your home's clutter and reuse those bags...win, win.

6. Use it as an overnight bag. Sure it isn't glamorous but it's the perfect size for an overnight trip.

7. Take them to the store for your next trip.

8. Keep bugs off your food. Most serving bowls, etc... fit nicely into a grocery bag. Use it when eating outdoor to keep your food sanitary. Or use it while baking. Place the bag over dough when rising. Why waste expensive plastic wrap, when the bag is free?

9. Use plastic bags to handle your dirty jobs. Most pet owners already know that plastic grocery bags make excellent doggie poo bags. But also use them to double bag your nasty trash. It'll help keep odors in and help preventing leaks.

10. Store small paint cans in the bag or cleaners that could leak. Just put the bag around the can if you plan on storing it. If you move things on the shelf and it falls to the floor, you won't have such a mess to clean.

11. Will you be moving soon? Use those bags to help pad your box of knickknacks.

12. If you are crafty, why not cut them or fold them and use the bags as crafting materials? People can make purses, rugs, jewelry and more from bags. I'm sure there are plenty of creative folks on Hubpages who can lend you a few ideas.


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13. Make shift mail organizer. I do my father's bills and my own and sometimes it can get overwhelming digging through the mail. Sort the mail into bags by priority and it'll help you keep you focused on what needs dealt with and when.

14. Do your kids or spouse pack a lunch? Why not use a plastic bag instead?

15. Kids love swimming, but it's no fun when they come back with wet suits in your car. Give them a bag to place the wet suits in and spare the mess on your drive home.

16. If need be, use a plastic bag as a shower cap.

17. When changing the soil in a potted plant, a plastic bag can be a lifesaver. Soil is messy and no matter how clean you try to be, it's going to escape the pot. Put the pot in the grocery bag and let the excess fall into the bag instead of all over your table.

18. We've all been there, we are painting a room and you need to grab lunch. Next time, store your paint filled brush in a bag and it'll be ready to go when you get back.

19. Faux painting with plastic bags is easy. Take regular paint and scrunch up a plastic bag. Dab the bag into the paint. Alternate directions to create an interesting faux finish.

20. Protect small plants from frost by placing the bag around them.

21. Tonight is freezing, but you forgot to weather-strip the door to the garage. Fill a bag with something fine yet heavy like sand or rice and seal up that door/window.

22. If you are taking the dead flowers off a house plant or weeding a small flower bed, why drag out a bucket? Grab a grocery bag.

23. Plastic bags can save you time on a cold winter morning. Tie the bag onto your car mirror for a quick frost barrier.

24. Perhaps your kids get a little crazy with the marker as most smaller kids do. You could use the bag under the surface they are drawing on, or even use the bag as a glove if need be.

25. Use your plastic bags for trick or treat bags.

26. Store kids crayons or toys in them. Let's face it, they aren't going to put the crayons nicely in the box anyway.

27. Use the bag to ripen produce. Put produce in and seal it up. Within a day or two, the natural ripening process will make the fruit juicy.

28. I hate the morning search for shoes. You find the right foot and not the left. By keeping the pair together in the baggie, you'll always know where both gym shoes are.

29. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. Plastic grocery bags can double as a make shift piping bag. Plus, no cleaning up sticky icing.

30. Going out to an amusement park or the beach where you might get wet? Put your cell phone, camera, or watch in the bag to help keep water away.

© 2013 Amy L. Tarr

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    • PenHitsTheFan profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy L. Tarr 

      4 years ago from Home

      That's wonderful. Thank you!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      4 years ago from California

      Going to link to one of my hubs on what to do with leftovers and odds and ends. It's no published yet, but will try to let you know when it is.

    • PenHitsTheFan profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy L. Tarr 

      4 years ago from Home

      I appreciate you stopping by. It just always seemed like such a waste to me.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is a great resource! I love the range of options. Thanks!

    • PenHitsTheFan profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy L. Tarr 

      4 years ago from Home

      Thank you. That's great that your area has stopped using them. If only more would.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      4 years ago from California

      Great ideas, unfortunately our area has band them. I never thought I would rue the day I didn't have them cluttering the bin, but it's fast approaching.

      Your opening was charming.

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