There are SO many ways to reuse and recycle those plastic bags you previously gathered from the grocery!
Now that we are well on our way to being zero waste, we stopped using plastic bags at check out. Opting for bags of our own or simply no bags at all. Most of us still have a stash of these bags at home! We want to avoid using them as trash bags, they will simply sit in the land fill for ages. What else can we do?
Many stores have now accepted the responsibility of their own plastic bags and set up bins where you can take your bags to be recycled into more bags. Recycling is grand but it uses resources like electricity to melt, process and create more bags. Better than the trash but we can reuse these bags! Here are a few ways!
Before we begin, let's try to keep these bags away from food, the earth and flames/heat!
1. Crochet into reusable, durable bags!
I love this one! Simply cut your bags by folding in the sides, cutting off the 'handles' and bottom seem. Then cut strips! Tie each strip together and roll into a ball! I used about 18 bags, made one bottle carrier and still have plarn left over!
You could make:
-bins and baskets
-bowls to hold keys or other items
Use your imagination!
If you don't know how to crochet, I suggest finding a great YouTube video to follow and start with cotton yarn. This can be a bit tricky to start.
2. Iron into sturdy sewable material.
This is so fun! Cut your bags into squares, layer about 4-5 bags worth and iron on the lowest setting (careful not to burn yourself, the bags or the area you are working on). Once you have your sheets, take two and sew the bottom and two sides! TADA! A reusable sack! Go crazy and make more elaborate bags! These would be GREAT for your jars when shopping bulk bins, as they weigh very little, easy to tuck in a jar before placing in your bag and can be made to whichever size you like! No holes like the crochet version! No more broken jars on the trip home (as I have had happen...)!
3. Reusable packing material
What do we pack up every year? Decorations. Holiday decorations. We have some for each season almost: fall, spring, winter... some of the decorations are delicate and require padding. Why not use what you have around the house anyway? Wrap them up and store them away! Not like many people will be rummaging around your attic judging your decoration storage!
4. Stuffing for crafted items.
Stuffing is often made of plastic. Why go out of your way to BUY plastic when you can simply shred some bags and TADA! Filler! I wouldn't use this on pillows or anything that may end up in a mouth (i.e. Baby toys) but for other items, it works fantastic! I find I prefer this to cotton batting, as cotton takes longer to dry. Just be sure to state on labels 'air dry only'. Dryer heat could release bad things from the plastic.
There are many crafters who do all the above and would LOVE to take your unused bags!
Taking the time and energy to reuse plastic is one is one of the most amazing things we can do and I applaud you for your efforts!
Love and reusing,
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants