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. (Don't forget to label with a sharpie, before you tie the top!)
My favorite use of plastic shopping bags is for shipping packing. They weigh practically nothing and several partially filled with air and tied, make a great air cushion for fragile items.I put a few around the item to be cushioned and fill the rest of the space with air filled bags.
By Goldhillal from Waverly, AL
Just make sure the recipient of the packages know to recycle them on their end.
I volunteer once a month at the local food pantry. We never have enough bags. I take what I have and have gotten some from my neighbor, but there is always a great need for bags there. Sometimes the folks who come bring their own reusable bags, but they are in the minority. So if you can, take what you do not use yourself to the food cupboard in your area. Your help will be most appreciated!
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Instead of buying re-usable bags for your purchases, save and re-use the plastic bags that you already have at home. I bought the re-usable ones, and found that I did not have enough of them. I buy a lot of groceries at a time, and just simply did not have enough bags. Buying as many as I needed was a cost factor; plus, I always wound up not having them in the car, which totally defeated the purpose in the first place. Then I thought of just keeping the plastic bags that I already had, in the car. Takes up far less space, didn't cost me anything, and I have lots more of them.
By Carole from Locust Fork, AL
This is a good idea. Some of the grocery store will give you a "reuse a bag" discount. Now mind you it is just a couple of cents per bag but it does add up you will have to remind the cashier to give it to you because it is not an automatic thing. I know Safeway is a national store and they do give it about 3-5 cents per bag. So make sure to mention it. (01/22/2009)
You can always keep some in your purse or bag if you stuff a few of them in an empty prescription bottle. You can also keep a few of them in your diaper bag to dispose of disposable diapers or other trash. Zig (01/29/2010)
Great idea. I found a way to fold up plastic bags on this site-called flagfolding. The bag ends up as a small triangle and is very easy to store. I do this with all the plastic bags I have in the house also :-)
"Takes up far less space, didn't cost me anything". It actually does cost you something. The cost of the "free" bags is passed along to the consumers. I used to forget my bags a lot, now I write "Bring Bags" and highlight it right on my grocery list.
I usually shop at Aldi's for most of my groceries, so if I run short I just buy a few paper bags there. I also use things like free totes that I have from different promotions to bag groceries. (01/29/2010)
Same problem remembering to bring any kind of bag so plastic was still piling up. Now I store the plastic bags inside my cloth bags; Usually one or more get left in the car (I have lots more of both than I need each shopping trip) so even if I neglect to bring them into the store, I can pack groceries at the trunk! (01/29/2010)
I use mine to pick up after my two pups. (03/14/2010)