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Uses for Plastic Grocery Bags

Reusing plastic grocery bags is a great way to help the environment and reduce trash in the landfills. There are many ways you can reuse these bags that can help save you money. This is a guide about uses for plastic grocery bags.

A recycled market bag made from plastic grocery bags.
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March 15, 2012 Flag
17 found this helpful

A bunch of plastic bags to be made into plarn.Save money on rubber and plastic! Want to re-purpose and re-use those plastic grocery store bags and get the most bang for your buck? Here are some answers that are sure to make you smile. When you get home from the store or pharmacy, don't just wad up those bags and throw them away. Tuck all of your bags inside of ONE bag and wait until you need them. Here are some great uses!

  1. Use to separate and store meat that you have purchased. Make a sink or basin of warm, soapy water with bleach. Insert your hand into several of the bags (individually) and wash them in the water. Immerse in rinse water and let them dry just a little bit in the drain rack. Spray the outside of the bag (which is actually the inside) with cooking spray (or grease with a small amount of oil), insert your hand inside, and pick up the meat! Your hand never touches the meat. Pull out the amount you are going to separate, remove your hand, express any remaining air, then knot and tie the bag. Take a second bag and insert the tied bag inside then knot and tie again to ensure that there are no freezer burns when you freeze it.
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  3. Use to store leftovers. Depending upon the thickness of the bag, store the not-so-juicy dinner leftovers. If you have something like soup that is not "too" thin, use the double-bag process again. You can store or freeze.
  4. Use to store opened pasta, rice, beans and chips. Have a half open bag of rice or pasta? A half open bag of beans, cereal, chips? Just slide that open bag inside of one of the store bags. Make sure you have "twisted" the open bag, then grab the grocery bag at the bottom (closest to the open bag), twist, knot and tie. You don't have to worry about the little weevils or your chips becoming stale! I kept one giant bag of chips for over a month, and the last chip was just as fresh as the first! The secret is getting rid of all the air before you tie it.
  5. Use them for dirty jobs. We had a septic back-up and needed to remove a toilet full of "wadded up" toilet tissue. You know it! I double-bagged them, tied them at my arm, took two more double bags, pulled out the clogged tissue, inserted it into the other two double bags, removed the "hand bags" from the inside out, tied the "receiving" bag, and my hands never touched any of the stuff from the toilet!
  6. Use them in the garden. If you can't find your gardening gloves, or if you don't own a pair. Tie them at the wrist and get busy.
  7. Use them to wash dishes. Again, tie at the wrist or higher.
  8. Use them to moisturize. Wash hands thoroughly, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to hands, wrap hands in bag for fifteen to thirty minutes and the end result will be astonishing!
  9. Use for housecleaning. Don't want to get cleaning supplies on your hands? Use the bags. Wipe down your furniture with furniture polish (or olive oil and lemon if you're like me), clean the bathrooms, sinks, etc. and protect your hands with your self-made mittens.
  10. Use for insulation. I filled a crack that otherwise would have been too large by pushing a few bags into it, then finishing off with caulk.
  11. Use for lunches. Wrap a sandwich in a paper towel (or if you're a little more green - in a home-made cloth napkin) and removing all the air, knot and tie. Sandwich will remain fresh until lunch time.
  12. Use for dirty clothes. On a trip? Pack a few bags and as you take off your dirty undies, shirts, etc., store and tie dirty clothes then tuck away in an inconspicuous place in your bag.
  13. Use to store paint rollers. Store clean rollers to keep them pliable and soft.
  14. Use as trash bags. Of course, this is the most common use of all. Use them around the house in your small trash bins as trash bags.

Well, there you have it. There are many more uses for plastic bags. If you want more, I can certainly give them to you. These are just a few. Use your own creativity and see what you can come up with.

Don't forget, after you have used them up, put them all in ONE bag and recycle. This tip will not only help the planet, but it will keep a lot more money in your pocket over the coming year.

By FranFran from Zebulon, Georgia


July 2, 2010 Flag
7 found this helpful

Uses for plastic grocery bags (the one time use/disposable): To carry groceries home: Most can be used more than once to get groceries home

May 19, 2009 Flag
7 found this helpful

Our family has recycled grocery plastic bags as trash bags for years. We use small plastic trash container about 12 inch diameter and 14 inches high. We have one in each bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.

September 24, 2013 Flag
5 found this helpful

I'm posting this information as a plea for our environment. Please check out the video and you will see how our using plastic shopping bags is hurting our world, our wildlife, and poisoning our environment.

I have great doubt our plastic bags are even recycled when we put them in those bins -- it costs sooo much to recycle plastic bags compared to the cost of making them outright. I wish someone would take on the task of following a plastic shopping bag from being put into a recycle bin to actually being recycled.

I personally use small mesh bags I purchased at the Dollar Tree years ago (no longer available anywhere - can't find 'em on-line). They are sturdy, can be washed, and I carry 8-10 in my purse (very portable). One bag will hold 10 cans of green beans when shopping! Please think on this!

November 16, 2009 Flag
18 found this helpful

I like to recycle plastic grocery bags in my kitchen garbage container. I bought a package of self-adhesive plastic cup hooks at the dollar store and put two on the inside of the trash can on the right and two more on the left.

August 20, 2009 Flag
5 found this helpful

There have been several tips on reusing these bags. If you go to YouTube and check out this video and many of the others you will be sick at what we are doing to Mother Earth.

November 3, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

Now that there are only two of us in our household, we have downsized our kitchen garbage container for the kitchen. We have a medium-size plastic bucket that fits perfect under the kitchen sink; out of sight and out of way.

June 23, 2008 Flag

Recycling is very important to me, sometimes to the dismay of my husband, who complains about clutter. The plastic grocery bags accumulate, even though I mostly use cloth bags.

March 27, 2009 Flag
3 found this helpful

When we were kids and wanted to play outside in the rain or snow, we didn't have boots. My mother would put plastic bags over our socks then put our shoes on then cover the plastic bags up with our pants.

March 21, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

I have been able to keep my car cleaned up, by hanging a plastic grocery bag on the back of the front passenger seat with a velcro cord holder. I put the holder around the metal head rest post and attach the grocery bag.

March 17, 2010 Flag
6 found this helpful

Even though I try to use my own shopping bags when I shop, I still wind up with a lot of plastic bags. I recycle them periodically with the various stores, but I also use them myself. I line trash cans with them and use them for storage and organization of suitably sized items.

July 3, 2012 Flag
6 found this helpful

We, as a whole, use way too much plastic. Its life span is hundred of years if put in landfills. So I have tried to find ways of reusing, recycling and looking at it in a different way.

August 6, 2010 Flag
5 found this helpful

Save those tiny plastic grocery bags that are too small to use for anything else. I keep my other plastic bags to use for trash containers. You can use the really little bags to pick up doggie messes in the park when walking your dog and no waste bags are available.

August 7, 2011 Flag
4 found this helpful

My dad's new wife just showed me how to re-use plastic grocery store bags. She folds them into four length wise then cuts the bottom off. Working your way up, you cut about one inch strips until you get to the handles.

November 12, 2013 Flag
4 found this helpful

Plastic Grocery Bag Flowers Scrunch plastic grocery bags length-wise and tie off in 4 or 5 places. Cut the top of the bag, then cut just below each place that the bag was tied off. Add a pipe-cleaner or stick "stem" and secure with florist tape. Add pom-pom center. Swish flower petals lightly into tacky glue and then dip into glitter.

Place in glass jar, an old vase that has been donated, or inexpensive vases from the dollar store. Add greens if you have them.

Plastic Grocery Bag Flowers

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August 17, 2015 Flag
2 found this helpful

When I buy fruit or veggies at the store, I put them in those plastic produce bags provided by the stores. At home, I take the produce out of the bags, putting it into a fruit bowl or a paper bag in the refrigerator. Then I turn the plastic bags inside out and use them for breading my chicken, fish, etc.

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