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Recycling – Upcycling – Reusing PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS

By Maddison

I remember when plastic bags first came out for regular use at the grocery store.

What you used to cram into one paper bag, you would now load into four plastic bags. Somehow, it didn’t seem right, but they had handles and were stored in much smaller Auctions spaces at home, so you went along with the change not even thinking about what it all meant to the environment!

But a month later, you were overwhelmed with these plastic bags! So, you started stuffing them into other plastic bags! And then someone invented a cloth sock like thing that you could pull out a plastic bag from the bottom and use it for kitty litter or garbage or wrapping wet paintbrushes. Suddenly, you had this huge need to use these plastic bags for everything!

But, then bookstores and clothing stores and convenience stores and department stores and well, the whole retail industry were using these plastic bags and once again you were overwhelmed with the amount of these things in your life.You started stuffing these plastic bags into other plastic bags and dropping them off at the recycling bin at the front of the grocery store.You used them to store winter sweaters during the summer and you continued to use them for your ever present kittie litter!

Well, I finally had enough! As an Artist and an Environmentalist, I had to find a new use for the insane amount of these bags in my life! So I made a list! I have gotten these ideas not only from personal experience and from conversations with friends (especially those with children) but from websites far and wide!!

  1. Put plastic bags in bathroom trash cans for use as a bag liner. Keep extras in the bottom for replacements.
  2. When you ball them up they can be used as mattress and/or pillow stuffing.
  3. If you have a broken arm or leg, you can use plastic bags to help keep the cast dry while taking a bath or shower.
  4. Use for holding dirty diapers.
  5. Instead of plastic gloves for picking up dog and cat poo, you can cover your hand in a plastic bag!.
  6. Use one plastic bag for aspirin and vitamin bottles and another for your makeup when traveling.
  7. Use them in your luggage to keep your wet clothes separate from your dry clothes, and your clean clothes from dirty ones.
  8. Wrap shoes in plastic bags when traveling. It keeps them away from your clean clothes!.
  9. Use them as a lunch sack.
  10. If a jar is leaking in the fridge, you can use a section of plastic bag as a seal prior to screwing a cap onto the container.
  11. Plastic grocery bags can be used as packing material for fragile items.
  12. Wrap each Christmas ball in a plastic bag as extra protection.
  13. To prevent messy leaks when defrosting meat, place the meat in a plastic bag, along with a paper towel.
  14. For cars that are parked in the open, you can place plastic bags over the side mirrors and wiper blades to keep them free from snow or freezing rain.
  15. Painting a large room and need to take a break? Wrap your paintbrushes and rollers in plastic bags to keep them from drying out so fast.
  16. Use for storing old rags.
  17. Use them as a non-stick surface for rolling out dough.
  18. Use to throw out food items that have gone bad! Tied tightly enough, you won’t smell a thing!!
  19. Put a plastic bag and a paper towel at the bottom of the veggie drawer in the frig. When it is time to clean the drawer, just pick them up and toss them out and replace.
  20. Stuff several plastic bags into each other and use on a hanger to keep shoulders of a jacket or coat in shape.
  21. When putting in flowerbeds, before you lay dirt, put a layer of plastic bags then put dirt on top. This keeps the weeds away!
  22. You can also use them as a makeshift shoe horn.
  23. Plastic bags can be used to coat chicken or beef with flour prior to cooking by putting the flour mix in the bag, adding the chicken or beef and shaking like crazy!.
  24. While you’re in the kitchen, keep in mind that you can wrap your homemade bread in a plastic grocery bag. Those who know, say the bag will help keep the bread fresh while still allowing it to breathe.
  25. For breadcrumbs, you can also use them to crush crackers without making a mess.
  26. When you’re working in the garden, try wrapping some plastic bags around your knees to not only keep them dry and clean, but also provide a little extra cushiony comfort.
  27. Put a wet umbrella inside a plastic bag before carrying it into the house.
  28. Plastic bags are often used as emergency rain gear.
  29. You can also use them to bring home your wet clothes.
  30. Hopefully, you’ve also kept a few extra plastic bags in the car and near your home’s front door for storing those muddy shoes.
  31. Keep plastic bags in your car for garbage or for collecting shells on the beach.
  32. You can use plastic bags to store Christmas wreaths and decorations.
  33. When traveling, store perfumes and other toiletries in a plastic bag to prevent leaks from making a mess.
  34. Got a son or nephew who owns a G.I. Joe? Plastic grocery bags make great parachutes for them!
  35. And you can loop multiple plastic bags together to make a plastic rope too.
  36. Cut them into strips and crochet them into rugs!
  37. Transport unpotted plants in them.
  38. Seal a Paint Can When you're done painting, slip a plastic bag over the paint can lid before replacing it so that dirt or flakes of dried paint on the lid's underside won't fall into the liquid.

This list could go on, but I think this is enough for now. Remember...Recycle those bags by using them up!

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