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How to Reuse Paper Bags

Updated on August 7, 2013

Multifunctional Paper Bags

What do you do with paper bags? Toss them into garbage? Recycle? Upcycle? Reuse? Renew?

The obvious first option is to reuse them for your groceries and other goods. They likely won't hold up for as many reuses as the plastic bags, but remember even one reuse is better than none.

On this page, you'll find few background informations about paper bags, as well as many tips how to use them in your gardening, home improvement and craft projects, both for kids and adults.

Invention And Milestones

In 1852 Francis Wolle patented in the United States, and later in France and England, a machine that he devised for making paper bags.

It was the first of its kind, and covers the fundamental principle of the many similar machines that are now used.


--1852 Francis Wolle invents and patents paper bag machine.

--1869 Wolle and his brother and other paper bag makers found Union Paper Bag Machine Company.

--1870 Margret Knight invents a device to cut, fold and paste paper bag bottoms

--1871 Charles Annon files patent application similar to Knight's design

--1871 Knight, filed a patent interference suit against Annan.and the court rules in her favor

--1872 132,890 (US) issued November 12, 1872 to Charles Annan for paper bag machine

--1883 Charles Stilwell awarded patent for making Square-Bottom Paper Bag w/ pleated sides

--1890 William Purvis awarded a patent for an improved paper bag machine

--1891 Purvis sells patent license to Union Paper Bag Machine Co., now part of International Paper

Did You Know?

Facts about paper bags

* There are few things simpler and more functional than the paper bag.

* Americans use them at the rate of 40 billion a year.

* 1977 The plastic grocery bag is introduced to the supermarket industry as an alternative to paper sacks.

* 1982 Kroger and Safeway start to replace traditional craft sacks with polyethylene "t-shirt" bags.

* The Union Bag & Paper Corporation operates the largest mill, near Savannah, Georgia, of its kind in the world. Into it, each year, go over a million cords of long-fibered Southern pine. Out of it come 35,000,000 paper bags per day -- 9 billion per year 250 bags for each family in the United States.

Facts About the Environmental Impact... - ...of the paper industry published by the Environmental Paper Network

  1. Forests store 50% of the world's terrestrial carbon. (In other words, they are awfully important "carbon sinks" that hold onto pollution that would otherwise lead to global warming.)
  2. Half the world's forests have already been cleared or burned, and 80% of what's left has been seriously degraded.
  3. 42% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper.
  4. The paper industry is the 4th largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions among United States manufacturing industries, and contributes 9% of the manufacturing sector's carbon emissions.
  5. Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste (and one third of municipal landfill waste).
  6. Municipal landfills account for one third of human-related methane emissions (and methane is 23-times more potent a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide).
  7. If the United States cut office paper use by just 10% it would prevent the emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases -- the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road.
  8. Compared to using virgin wood, paper made with 100% recycled content uses 44% less energy, produces 38% less greenhouse gas emissions, 41% less particulate emissions, 50% less wastewater, 49% less solid waste and -- of course -- 100% less wood.
  9. In 2003, only 48.3% of office paper was recovered for recycling.
  10. Recovered paper accounts for 37% of the U.S. pulp supply.
  11. Printing and writing papers use the least amount of recycled content -- just 6%. Tissues use the most, at 45%, and newsprint is not far behind, at 32%.
  12. Demand for recycled paper will exceed supply by 1.5 million tons of recycled pulp per year within 10 years.
  13. While the paper industry invests in new recycled newsprint and paper packaging plants in the developing world, almost none of the new printing and writing paper mills use recycled content.
  14. China, India and the rest of Asia are the fastest growing per-capita users of paper, but they still rank far behind Eastern Europe and Latin America (about 100 pounds per person per year), Australia (about 300 pounds per person per year) and Western Europe (more than 400 pounds per person per year).
  15. The Forest Stewardship Council's certification of sustainable forestry practices is growing, with 50% of the paper product market share and 226 million acres accounted for. Advocates say the demand for recycled paper and sustainably harvested pulp from consumers, advertisers, magazine makers and other users of paper will yield the fastest reforms of the industry.

Household tips

Use Paper Bags to Dust Off Mops

Dust mops make it a breeze to get up the dust balls and pet hair around your home, but how do you get the stuff off your mop? Place a large paper bag over the mop head; use a piece of string or a rubber band to keep it from slipping off. Now give it several good shakes (a few gentle bumps wouldn't hurt either). Lay the mop on its side for a few minutes to let the dust in the bag settle. Then carefully remove the bag for easy disposal of your dusty dirt.

Remove Candle Wax With Paper Bag

Place a piece of a paper bagover the wax. Get out your iron and run it over the bag a few times. The heat melts the wax and the bag soaks it up. Just be careful not to use a bag that has printing on it or the dye may run. Move the bag around (or use another bag) to expose a fresh piece of paper to the stain as the wax is absorbed.

TV GRN Reuse Shop Bag
TV GRN Reuse Shop Bag

True Value, Bright Green, Reusable, Shopping Bag, 100% Polypropylene, True Value & Greener Options Logos Printed On Both Sides Of The Bag. They Measure 14" Tall, 12" Wide & 8" Deep With Two Handles & A Bottom Stiffener So The Bag Will Stand Up, Each Bag


Remove Wax from Clothing

Try freezing the pants overnight (place in a plastic bag then toss in the freezer). The next day chip off the frozen wax, as much of it as you can without damaging fabric fibers. Then take a brown paper bag (a lunch bag size will do), open it up and lay it over the wax stain. Take a hot iron and press on top of the brown paper, it will melt the wax and lift it onto the paper bag. You should probably wait for the pants to return to room temp before doing that. If you have to 'hot press' a few times, make sure to move the bag each time so you're only pressing a clean part of the bag. You don't want to melt the wax back onto the pants.

Clean Artificial Flowers

Authentic silk flowers are actually pretty rare these days; most are now made of nylon or some other man-made material. But regardless of whether they're silk or something else, you can easily freshen them up by placing them in a paper bag with 1/4 cup salt. Give the bag a few gentle shakes, and your flowers will emerge as clean as the day you purchased them.

Carry Your Laundry in Paper Bag

If your laundry basket is already overflowing, or (gasp!) the plastic handle suddenly gives out, you can always use a sturdy shopping bag to pick up the slack. A bag with handles will probably make the job easier, but any large bag will do in a pinch. Just be sure your laundry is completely dry before using the bag on the return trip. Otherwise, your freshly cleaned clothes could wind up under your feet.

The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess 25th Anniversary Edition
The Paper Bag Princess 25th Anniversary Edition

Some of the best children's books ever written have been about girls -- like The Paper Bag Princess.


Paper Bags Used to Cover Textbooks

Helping your children make book covers for their textbooks isn't only fun, it's also a subtle way to teach kids to respect public property. And few materials rival a paper bag when it comes to making a rugged book cover. First, cut the bag along its seams to make it a flat, wide rectangle, then place the book in the center. Fold in the top and bottom edges so the bag is only slightly wider than the book's height. Next, fold over the sides to form sleeves over the book covers. Cut off the excess, leaving a couple of inches on either side to slide over the front and back covers. Put a piece of masking tape on the top and bottom of each sleeve (over the paper, not the book) to keep it on tight, and you're done. Lastly, let your child put his or her personal design on each cover.

Tutorial ---> Paper Bag Book Cover

Create a Table Decoration

Use a small designer shopping bag with handles to make an attractive centerpiece for your dining room table or living room mantel. Fill a small cup with some water and place it in the middle of the bag. Place a few fresh-cut flowers in the glass, and presto! All done.

Recycled Crafts Box

Recycled Crafts Box
Recycled Crafts Box

Divided into sections dealing with paper, plastic, metal, and fabric, the book tells how these materials are made, traces their history, and explains how they can be recycled, emphasizing benefits to the environment.


Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Need to wrap a present in a hurry? You don't have to rush out to buy wrapping paper. Just cut a large paper bag along the seams until it's a flat rectangle. Position it so that any printing is facing up at you, put your gift on top and fold, cut, and tape the paper around your gift. If you wish, personalize your homemade wrapping paper by decorating it with markers, paint, or stickers.

Reuse Paper Bags as Gift Bags

What to do with those small gift bags with handles favored by most boutiques? Why not use them to package your own gifts? They're ideal for holding items such as bath supplies, jewelry, perfume, and even most books. Simply add some shredded crepe paper, a personalized card, and you're all set.

Recycle as Towel&Tissue Dispensers

Add a simple but elegant touch to your guest bathrooms by using small "boutique bags" as paper towel or tissue dispensers. You can even embellish them with your own personal touches, such as ribbons or stickers that match your d├ęcor.

Reshape Knits After Washing

Put the shape back into your wool sweater or mittens by tracing the contours of the item on a paper bag before you wash it. Then use your outline to stretch the item back to its original shape after washing it.

Store Linen Sets

Have you ever emptied the contents of your linen closet looking for the flat sheet to match the fitted one you just pulled out? You can easily spare yourself some grief by using medium-sized paper bags to store your complete linen sets. Not only will your shelves be better organized, but you can also keep your linens smelling fresh by placing a used fabric softener sheet in each bag.

Use Paper Bag as a Pressing Cloth

If your ironing board's cover appears to have seen its last steam iron, don't sweat it. You can easily make a temporary pressing cloth by splitting open one or two paper bags. Dampen the bags and lay them over your ironing board to get those last few shirts or skirts pressed for the workweek.

Pack Your Bags

Getting ready to leave on a family vacation? Don't forget to pack a few large shopping bags -- the kind with handles -- in your luggage. They're guaranteed to come in handy to bring home the souvenirs you pick up, or perhaps your soiled laundry or beach towels.

Paper Bag Recycled Newspapers

Double up on your recycling efforts by using large paper bags to hold your newspapers for collection. It not only spares you the time and effort needed to tie up your bundles with string, but it also makes it easier to sort out your magazines, newsprint, and glossy pages.

Make Cleanups Easier

Cut open one or two paper bags and spread them out over your countertop when peeling vegetables, husking corn, shelling peas, or any other messy task. When you're done, simply fold up the paper, and toss it into the trash for a fast and easy cleanup.

Keep Bread Fresh Inside Paper Bag

If you live in a high-humidity area, your bread will stay fresher when stored inside a paper bag rather than a plastic one. The paper's ability to "breathe" will keep the bread's crust crisp while allowing the center of the loaf to stay soft and moist.

Use Paper Bag to Ripen Fruit

Many fruits -- including avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, and tomatoes -- will ripen better when placed in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening process of any fruit, place an already ripe apple or banana peel in the same bag and store it at room temperature. To ripen green bananas, wrap them in a damp dishtowel before placing them in the bag. Once your fruits have adequately ripened, you can halt the process by putting them in the refrigerator.

Store Mushrooms

Remove your store-bought mushrooms from their mesh packaging and place them in a paper bag inside your refrigerator to keep them fresh for up to five days.

Using Paper Bags for Cat Litter

You can recycle even when cleaning up after your kitties! scoop the litter in there, fold it over and throw it away. The paper will break down much faster.

Gardening tips

Store Geraniums in Winter

Although they're considered to be annuals, geraniums are easy to overwinter. First, remove the plants from their pots or care-fully dig them up from your garden bed, shake off as much soil as possible, and place each plant in its own paper bag. Cover each bag with a second paper bag turned upside down and store them in a cool, dry place. When spring arrives, cut off all but 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of stem and repot. Place them in a sunny spot, water regularly, and watch your plants "spring" back to life.

Feed Your Plants

Bonemeal is an excellent source of nutrients for all the plants in your garden. You can easily make your own by first drying your leftover chicken bones in a microwave oven (depending on the quantity, cook them for 1-4 minutes on High). Then place the dried bones in a sturdy paper bag and grind them up using a mallet, hammer, or rolling pin. When done, distribute the powder around your plants and watch them thrive.

Add Paper Bags to Compost

Brown paper bags are a great addition to any garden compost heap. Not only do they contain less ink and pigment than newsprint, but they will also attract more earthworms to your pile (in fact, the only thing the worms like better than paper bags is cardboard). It's best to shred and wet the bags before adding to your pile. Also, be sure to mix them in well to prevent them from blowing away after they dry.

Dry Your Herbs in Paper Bags

To dry fresh herbs, first wash each plant under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Make sure the plants are completely dry before you proceed to reduce the risk of mold. Take five or six plants, remove the lower leaves, and place them upside down inside a large paper bag. Gather the end of the bag around the stems and tie it up. Punch a few holes in the bag for ventilation, then store it in a warm, dry area for at least two weeks. Once the plants have dried, inspect them carefully for any signs of mold. If you find any, toss out the whole bunch. You can grind them up, once you've removed the stems, with a rolling pin or a full soda bottle, or keep them whole to retain the flavor longer. Store your dried herbs in airtight containers and away from sunlight.

DIY Tips

Reuse Paper Bag to Make Envelope

Ever need a large envelope for mailing?

Here is a tip on how to make your own paper mailer from a recycled brown paper bag...... Tutorial

Curl your hair using paper bags!

Move Snow Off Your Windshield

If you're tired of having to constantly scrape ice and snow off your car's windshield during the winter months, keep some paper bags on hand. When there's snow in the forecast, go out to your car and turn on the wipers. Then, shut off the engine with the wipers positioned near the middle of your windshield. Now, split open a couple of paper bags and use your car's wipers to hold them in place. After the last snowflake falls, pull off the paper to instantly clear your windshield. Note: To prevent damaging your car's wipers, do not turn on the ignition until you've removed the snow and paper from the windshield.

Make a Fire Starter

Looking for an easy way to get a fire going in your fireplace? Simply fill a paper bag with some balled-up newspaper and perhaps some bits of candle wax. Stick the bag under your logs, light it, then sit back and enjoy your roaring fire.

Spray-Paint Small Items

You don't have to make a mess every time you need to spray-paint a small item. Just place the object to be painted inside a large shopping bag and spray away; the bag will contain the excess spray. Once the item has dried, simply remove it and toss away the bag.

Build a Bag Kite with Paper Bag

Make a simple bag kite for your children to play with by folding over the top of a paper bag to keep it open. Glue on pieces of party streamers under the fold. Reinforce the kite by gluing in some strips of balsa wood or a few thin twigs along the length of the bag. Poke a couple of holes above the opened end, and attach two pieces of string or yarn (put a piece of masking or transparent tape over the holes to prevent them from tearing) and tie the ends onto a roll of kite string. It should take off when the kids start running.

Craft projects

Kiddy Craft Projects

Kiddy Craft Projects
Kiddy Craft Projects

And if you have any other tip we haven't mentioned here about the ways to reuse paper bags in your home, garden or for play with kids, share it with the rest of us! Thanks!

Do You Reuse Paper Bags? - Tell us what you do with them!

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    • profile image


      4 years ago


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      We all need to recycle! Great job for coming up with this lens. Your ideas and suggestions are truly helpful.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      They are also used for luminaires @ Relay For Life and other special occasions to light pathways, such as @ Christmas.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We've always used them for shrimp boils - just spread them put and pour the food on. Some people use newspapers, but I don't get the paper. We have also used them to drain the oil from fried food, especially at catfish fries. Also great when you run out of paper towels in the middle of cooking fried chicken or bacon. Can you tell I'm from the south?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I try to reuse paper bags whenever I can.

    • Vallygems1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome Again

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens. I like your tips and idea. I have recycling lens . Welcome to see it.

    • damoiselle profile image


      6 years ago

      Lots of good ideas here! I never knew they were so good for compost :)

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for all the great tips on reusing paper bags! Blessed!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      eco-friendly lens

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      i never thought about these. very useful lens. thanks.

    • adamfrench profile image


      6 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These are great! This is what I have done with 3 1st grade classes

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Useful lens buddy,you are such a great guy.Good job...

    • achraf lm profile image

      achraf lm 

      7 years ago

      wow, really nice!! good job with this lens

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 

      7 years ago

      The tip about the removing of wax from clothes sound very useful! It will save my life.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, you have put together a ton of great ideas to reuse paper bags. I have always used them for sending parcels, just by undoing the glued seam and reversing it, so I can write the address on the non-printed side. Great Lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Paper? Plastic? Cloth! A high goal when I go shopping is to avoid bringing home new packaging if practical. If I leave with bags to reuse, it's likely I'll avoid bringing new ones home. Would I go shopping expecting to make a purchase without money? Why should I consider going shopping without also bringing bags enough to tote the expected purchase? Can't say I always stay ahead of the bag manufacturers, but I've plenty fired plenty that I wouldn't have by simply following the mainstream pattern of single use and then trash.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile imageAUTHOR

      Mihaela Vrban 

      7 years ago from Croatia

      @MBradley McCauley: Glad you like it. And yes, I would love if you add a link!

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 

      7 years ago

      Wish I'd known about the snow on the windshield a few months ago. I'll remember it for next year. Also, when I was a kid we always covered our school books with paper bags. What a great lens. This one is being bookmarked. I'm going to use some in my compost. And, may I add a link to it in my recycle-re-use and save lens? This is fantastic.

    • Judy Goldsberry profile image

      Judy Goldsberry 

      7 years ago

      Great ideas, I used to wrap all my gifts with brown paper from bags and tie with string, I thought it gave them a classic sophisticated look.

    • ssuthep profile image


      7 years ago

      I try to reuse paper bags but know I am not doing enough. I really appreciate your tips here and will try to follow them to get more use of my paper bags. Great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think my favorite Idea was the Paper Bag Dress; it gives a new mean toward a Bag Lady, lol!!! I love this Lens and give it a Thumbs up!!!

    • MisterJeremy profile image


      7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      We just covered my son's math book with a paper bag. Who knew there were SO many other creative uses?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      @Bradshaw LM: They actually give you those by default, but usually if you ask for them to use paper, they will.

    • Bradshaw LM profile image

      Bradshaw LM 

      8 years ago

      We unfortunately always seem to get plastic bags these days from the grocery stores. I rarely see paper bags anmore. I used to like them though. Thumbs up on a nice lens.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love using paper bags!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      now these are some great tips&tricks. I work at a shredding company fort lauderdale and i am happy that i have a green job

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi I appreciate the idea of helping the environment and at the same time showing affection through a gift!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      love your ideas and tips. my hobby is handcrafting so i collect all sorts of paper bags and paper materials, those soft and thin ones makes a good material for mosaics and covers.

    • dorotheajames profile image


      8 years ago

      Love your suggestion for rejuvenating silk flowers. Thanks for all of the great information.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! So many ideas. Love it! I use them to dry out catnip, and store them. If catnip is dried in the open it looses smell. If stored in plastic it smell sour.

      And the cats get hours of play from a paper bag.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile imageAUTHOR

      Mihaela Vrban 

      8 years ago from Croatia

      @anonymous: That's wonderful idea for reusing paper bags! I wish you can send me some pics and a more detailed explanation about how you made wallpaper from paper bags! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I took all my old saved up paper bags and toughly tore them, applied wallpaper paste and covered the walls of my small bathroom. I like it so much that I'm doing the same in a couple of rooms of my log cabin

    • Home Interior D profile image

      Home Interior D 

      8 years ago

      Thoroughly enjoyable lens to read with wonderful tips and advice. Well presented too. Top notch! :-)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lovely lens, favoriting it.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on your Purple Star. Thanks for these great resources for using paper bags. I use paper and cloth bags for groceries. I use the paper bags for recycling my newspapers and shredded paper. Also for paper on tins, etc. We have a neighboring town on Vancouver Island that has banned plastic bags. Many stores have switched from plastic to paper bags or even banned bags altogether. Thanks again for sharing these important ways to use a paper bag. :)

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      8 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      We don't see very many here.

      Congratulations on your purple star.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      just dropping by to say congrats on the purple star, as it's already faved,etc!

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 

      8 years ago from Minnesota

      Oh, I forgot...congrats on the purple star. This certainly qualified in my opinion!

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 

      8 years ago from Minnesota

      What a terrific lens! I love the Feed Your Plants tip...had no idea how bone meal was made. A lot of these I already do but found some new tips that I'll certainly try. Good work!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      8 years ago from California

      Just Tweeted this, but I have to say that hint on removing wax with an iron won't work for the wax I just spilled on my laptop LMAO....but I have to *Bless* this lens anyway for the hint :)

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      8 years ago from California

      Michelle, Congratulations on that well earned purple really do have the best recycling and reusing tips!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile imageAUTHOR

      Mihaela Vrban 

      8 years ago from Croatia

      @justholidays: Geat that you find something helpful! Thank you Dom!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile imageAUTHOR

      Mihaela Vrban 

      8 years ago from Croatia

      @kimmanleyort: Simple things are always the best! ;) Thank you Kim!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Full of great ideas for paper bags. I especially liked the snow on the windshield one. Congrats on your purple star!

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      We don't have a lot of paper bags in Belgium - most are plastic ones, lol; but this lens is really interesting - I've a garden and need ideas on how to feed the plants!

      Congratulations on your purple star, Michelle!

    • greenerme profile image


      8 years ago

      I hardly ever receive a paper bag at the store anymore with reusable bags. When I do get a paper bag, it's usually at Whole Foods Supermarket. Most other grocery chains have switched almost entirely to plastic since it's cheaper for them. I do reuse paper bags, I actually use them for shipping purposes as packaging material. Happy New Year, hope all is well!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips, this will definitely come in useful!

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 

      9 years ago from USA

      This is great. Love paper bag art.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens. You give such a simple way to help our environment. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Paper bags are the best medium for paper mache when making big puppets.

    • teamlane profile image


      9 years ago

      I wonder if the lunch inside the paper bag my son doesn't eat can be recycled. [grins]

      Blessed by a SquidAngel today! ~ Colleen :o)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I really like that tip about how to "Store Geraniums in Winter"and

      will be using it this coming fall.

      Thanks for all the other great tips.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      9 years ago

      Incredible list, very helpful! Lots of unique ideas. One that I often do is open a paper bag and use it to wrap a small package for mailing with packing tape to hold it together. 5***** and featured on "Reduce, Reuse, REBAG!"

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      9 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      another 5***** lens from you! Some very good ideas and resources. Lensroll too.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      9 years ago

      Welcome to the Money Saving Tips

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for creating and sharing such an informative and interesting lens.

      Definitely 5 stars!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Incredible work! Very creative. This whole series of "how to reuse..." is outstanding.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lovely lens. In the UK, nearly every big food retailer uses plastic bags, normally only pricey clothes come in paper bags, so I don't often see them. Perhaps as opposition to plastic bags all over the place grows, we will see the paper bags return. Some small greengrocers still give you veg in them.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      9 years ago from Vermont

      This is wonderful info-filled lens. I got some new ideas - and here is one for you - but it's a bit "icky". Unfortunately,I sometimes must use mousetraps in my home; I do not like to use poison. I put the trap inside a paper bag to keep the mess when the mouse gets caught in the trap off the floor and walls. 5*

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      9 years ago from Covington, LA

      Great ideas. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens links to the appropriate plexos and vote for them.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      As a whole we are getting better at reusing and recycling. We're moving in the right direction.


    • Mortira profile image


      10 years ago

      Wonderful tips and ideas! The Earth must love you! 5 stars and a 'roll!

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      10 years ago from Idaho

      This is a great lens! I love the pictures of the kitty's in the bag...reminds of a story. My daughter was about six or seven I think at the time. Her grandma told her that, her cat loves "sacks" and asked my daughter if her cat loves them too. My daughter looked shocked and wide eyed, She thought her grandma had said "sex". Anyway bags are great for so many things, covering school books, do they do that still? Great lens, shining up those stars! Linda

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      I'm getting better and better at remembering my canvas bags but when I forget I love to reuse the bags for art projects. My kids know that we don't buy gift wrapping paper, we use paper bag and decorate with scraps from other projects.

      What a great lens! This lens is now featured on Unit Studies: Fun, Active, and Creative Learning .

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I remember making "indian vests" out of the brown paper bags we got from the grocery store growing up! Great lens! Gonna lensroll it onto my brown bagging it site! 5 stars!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      10 years ago

      I've been so good about bringing my canvas bags to the store that I accumulate very few paper bags these days. You've covered my favorite uses, though. I like them for a weed barrier in the garden, and as an amusement for my cats. Those cute kittens score you a Squid Angel Blessing!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      10 years ago from Canada

      We do not receive many paper bags but I will never again be at a loss for what to do with them!


    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      10 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I use canvas bags, so I have very few paper bags around the house. However, I use a paper bag to store cardboard on the way to the recycling center, then I can recycle both when I get there. This is a wonderful lens with fantastic ideas to reuse paper bags and hopefully keep them out of the landfill.

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 

      10 years ago

      Ahh.. who could forget the old paper textbook cover from the High School lens. Excellent and informative lens. 5* and favorite.


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