40 Ways Plastic Grocery Bags Are Not Single Use Bags
Over the past few years there has been an increase in discussion about the possible effects of plastic bags on our environment. In some cases, discussions have evolved to state and municipal governments placing bans on retailers use of what is known as single use plastic bags (plastic grocery and shopping bags). Although there might be times this style of plastic bags are “single use” there are many instances where plastic t-shirt bags are reusable. Below we have created the ultimate guide for reusing old t-shirt bags.
Around the house
1. Fill in Gaps
Stuff plastic bags into cavities around pipes, ducts or other wall or floor penetrations to provide a substrate before filling voids with spray foam or caulk.
2. Apply Waxes and Creams
Use a bag as a mitt to spread furniture wax or polish. Then buff to a shiny finish using a soft, dry cloth.
3. Seal a Paint Can
Once you are done painting, slip a plastic bag over the paint can lid before replacing. This keeps dirt or flakes of dried paint out of the paint when reopening.
4. Make Glue Stick Where You Want it
Before clamping up a woodworking project that has just been glued, slip a plastic bag between the piece you have worked on and the clamp blocks. Once the glue has dried, the blocks will slip off your piece easily.
5. Save Time After a Storm
Expecting snow or sleet? Tie plastic bags around your car’s side-view mirrors and easily remove the ice covered bags in the morning.
6. Corral Hardware
Line tool-belt pockets with a bag trimmed to size. No more stabbing yourself as you reach for nails deep in the seams.
7. Bathroom Trash Bags
Place plastic grocery bags in bathroom trash cans for use as a bag liner. Place extras in the bottom of the can for future use.
8. Plunger Storage
Store your plunger in a plastic grocery bag.
9. Cast Protector
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.
10. Contain Leaks
Got a leaky bottle or jar? Use a section of plastic bag as a seal prior to screwing a cap onto the container.
11. Packing Material
Plastic grocery bags can be used as packing material for fragile items.
12. Protect Paint Brushes
Painting a large room and need to take a break? Wrap your paint brushes and rollers in plastic bags to keep them from drying out so fast.
13. Disposable Glove Alternative
Plastic bags can be used as cheap disposable gloves for handling unpleasant things.
14. Clothes Storage
You can also use plastic t shirt bags to store dirty or wet clothes until you get home to wash them.
15. Dirty Shoe Storage
Keep a few plastic bags in the car and near your front door for storing those muddy shoes.
16. Seasonal Decoration Storage
Plastic bags can be used to store Christmas wreaths and decorations.
17. Parachute for Toys
Have a son or nephew who owns a G.I. Joe? Plastic grocery bags make great parachutes for kids’ toys.
18. Plastic Rope
Loop multiple plastic bags together to make a plastic rope.
19. Shoe Horn
Plastic grocery bags can also be used as a makeshift shoe horn.
20. Mattress/Pillow Stuffing
Ball up plastic t shirt bags and use them in a mattress and/or pillow as stuffing.
In the garden
21. Transport Unpotted Plants
Divide overgrown perennials and place extras in bags to contain the soil and keep in moisture while transporting.
22. Keep Clothes Clean
When you are working 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.
23. Yard Clippings
While you are busy tending to the yard, use plastic shopping bags to collect those smaller yard clippings.
24. Protect Plants from Frost
When the forecast calls for frost, you can protect delicate plants by placing a plastic bag over them the night before.
On the go
25. Keep Clothes Separate
Use them in your luggage to keep your wet clothes separate from your dry clothes, and your clean clothes from dirty ones.
26. Separate Shoes in Luggage
When traveling with a suitcase, plastic bags can also be used to protect your shoes from scuffs or keep stinky shoes from affecting your other clothes.
27. Lunch Sack
Having extra plastic bags make for great lunch sacks.
28. Rain Cover
Plastic bags are often used as emergency rain gear.
29. Toiletries Barrier
When traveling, store perfumes and other toiletries in a plastic bag to prevent leaks from making a mess.
In the kitchen
30. Dredging Bag
Plastic bags can be used to coat chicken or beef with flour prior to cooking.
31. Bread Bag
While you are in the kitchen, keep in mind that you can wrap your homemade bread in a plastic grocery bag. This will help keep the bread fresh while still allowing it to breathe.
32. By the way, if you find yourself out of bread crumbs, you can also use them to crush crackers without making a mess.
33. Non-stick Surface
Use plastic grocery bags as a non-stick surface for rolling out dough.
34. Protect Fruit
In late fall, tie plastic bags over nearly ripe fruit on a tree to keep out bugs and guard against frost damage.
35. Prevent Messy Leaks
To prevent messy leaks when defrosting meat, place the meat in a plastic bag, along with a paper towel.
36. Grease Baking Pans
Keep your hands clean while greasing baking pans by placing a plastic grocery bag over your hand before coating the pan.
For the pets
37. Keep Your Dog or Cat Comfy
Stuff an old pillowcase tightly with plastic bags, sew the open end closed, and let your pet lounge on it during nap time.
38. Litter Box Liner
Line your cat’s litter box with them. Use additional plastic bags while scooping the litter.
39. Poop Bags
Plastic bags are perfect for picking up dog and cat poop.
For the baby
40. Dirty Diapers
Plastic bags are also great for holding dirty diapers.
41. Diaper Bag Storage
Keep extra plastic grocery bags in the diaper bag in case of emergencies.
42. Protect from Spills
Store baby food and other liquids in a plastic grocery bag to help prevent spills.
As technology continues to create plastic materials that are more eco-friendly and biodegradable, we should remain conscious of our plastic bag use. As we wait for these advances we all can take an active role in minimizing any adverse effects plastic bags have on the environment by reusing (using the above) and recycling plastic shopping bags. To find the closest plastic bag recycling center near you use earth911’s recycling locator below.