Even after switching to reusable shopping bags, I still have quite the collection of plastic grocery bags after years of shopping. I just can’t bring myself to throw them out for a couple of different reasons. First, they’re rotten for the environment, since they take eons to break down and frequently litter our oceans, forests, and streets. In fact, Los Angeles even went as far as to ban plastic grocery bags, and consumers must either bring their own reusable bags or pay a small fee for paper bags.
Also, plastic grocery bags just seem to have so many darn uses! I can’t usually go a day without reusing plastic grocery bags for something.
Here are some of my favorite ways to reuse plastic grocery bags.
1. Trash Bags
Instead of spending a small fortune on special garbage bags for your small trash cans, reuse plastic garbage bags for this. They’re the perfect size and their free!
Next time you move, send a package, or just want to store some fragile items, wrap them in several plastic garbage bags. This works great for packing and storing dishes, knick knacks, and holiday ornaments.
You can reuse plastic grocery bags a few different ways when you’re painting. They’re the perfect size to line roller pans, for instance. They can also be used to cover wet paintbrushes and rollers so you don’t have to wash them out between painting sessions.
4. Pooper Scoopers
Everybody’s gotta go, even your pets. You can reuse plastic grocery bags to pick up your pet’s business, whether it’s out of a litter box or in the park during Fido’s walk.
5. Laundry Bags
Reuse plastic grocery bags to hold dirty or wet clothes when you’re traveling. The same goes for your kids’ muddy and wet clothes after they come in from playing outside.
6. Shoe Protectors
You can reuse plastic grocery bags to protect both your shoes and everything around your shoes. First, you can tie or tape plastic grocery bags around your shoes to keep them from getting wet or muddy. You can also store muddy boots and shoes in plastic grocery bags until they can be washed.
7. Garden Helpers
There are so many ways to reuse plastic grocery bags in the garden! You can use them to cover your knees and shoes to keep them clean, and you can use them to harvest vegetables. They can also be used to tie back climbing plants, like pole beans and roses. Just make sure that you recycle them once you’re done with them.
8. Impromptu Insulation
If you live in a cold region, you can also reuse plastic grocery bags as impromptu insulation in a pinch. I’ve used grocery bags to temporarily plug cold drafts, and I’ve even wadded them up and tied them around water pipes to protect them from the cold.
9. Disposable Gloves
For those particularly dirty jobs, stick your hands in a couple of plastic grocery bags. You’ll stay clean, and you can peel them – and the mess – off when you’re done and dispose of them.
10. Vehicle Companions
I don’t go anywhere without a few plastic grocery bags stashed under the seat in my Jeep. They are most frequently used for trash bags, but I’ve also used them to hold wildflowers and as an extra security measure when one of the kids starts feeling ill on the way home. Fortunately, they’ve never had to use them, but I’m glad they had the option.