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How to recycle old plastic bags

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Wondering what to do with those plastic grocery bags? Here are a few ideas.

Steps Edit

  1. Take them with you to the grocery store to be reused when bagging your groceries, instead of taking new ones.
  2. Return your bags back to the grocery store for recycling. Most stores have a container to take these bags back and recycle them for you.
  3. Keep plastic bags around the house to replace trash can liners in the bathrooms, office and bedrooms... anywhere you have a small trashcan. Keep some in the laundry room to throw out pocket trash found in clothes and empty the lint filter in the dryer.
  4. Use plastic bags in the kitchen to store perishable trash in the refrigerator. This is especially good to do in the summer. If you have a long wait between trash pick-ups, it will keep flies out of your trash can.
  5. Keep a stash of bags in each vehicle to help keep the car tidy. Hang one over a seat, arm rest, or simply keep it under a seat.
  6. If you have pets, use plastic bags to clean out the litter box or scoop the poop in the yard. When you take your dog for a walk, tie a couple of bags to the leash handle so you will always have a bag available to scoop the poop.
  7. Donate them to animal shelters who often need plastic bags for cleaning and to use when walking dogs, they'll appreciate having a few extra around.
  8. Donate the bags to your local charity shop or thrift store library, so that people who borrow books can use them to bring the books home.
  9. Plastic bags can be used for packing material for packages to be mailed or stored. Wad them up and stuff around the items.
  10. When removing old vacuum cleaner bags put the bag in a plastic bag and tie. If the pets or kids get into the trash (or you press down instead of taking out) you won't end up with a fine dust cloud.
  11. Shove them inside of shoes to help keep their shape while air drying.
  12. Cut into strips and knit/crochet into a stronger reusable shopping bags. You can find a crochet pattern here. These work well because strips of plastic bag have a lot of tensile strength and the knit/crochet stitch makes this even stronger.

Tips Edit

  • You can store them in fabric bag tubes at local craft or kitchen stores. These tubes have small elastic holes at the top and bottom and a loop for hanging it on the back of a door or on a hook. You may be able to find one in a color scheme for your decor. You could also use an empty baby wipe container or empty tissue box - this keeps them tidy and you'll always know where to find them.
  • The best strategy is to avoid getting plastic bags in the first place. Get a couple of canvas bags and take them with you to the store. They're stronger and hold more than the flimsy plastic bags that most stores use -- this means fewer trips from the car once you're home, and no risk of a bag breaking and spilling your groceries all over the ground. Some stores give a small discount for bringing your own bags, but the real benefit is not consuming or accumulating plastic bags.
  • Use one of the bags to stuff the rest in just for storage. Hang the bag in the garage, pantry, under the kitchen sink or in the laundry room. Alternatively, wad up the first bag, and put it into the next. Wad this up, and put it into the next, and so on. This way, you can always just remove the outermost bag-layer.
  • Find a specific place to keep your extra bags. Once this area is full of bags you should take them to the store for recycling and not try to find more places
  • If you do art paint or ceramic painting on top of the kitchen table, spread out a bag on top of the table to keep the paint off the table. When you are finished, toss in any mess you made and toss the bags away.
  • Simple Human offers step trash cans with special liners that are specifically made with handles to hold plastic bags securely in the can. These are available for the smaller cans and at most kitchen and bath super stores.

Warnings Edit

  • Make sure there are no holes in the bags before you re-use them.
  • Use the ones with holes to double up with those without.
  • If they are pretty torn up, just recycle them.
  • Do not let children play with bags. Store them in a safe place. They can be a choking or suffocation hazard.
  • Don't reuse plastic bags that were used to transport meat or poultry. They may contain bacteria that can be harmful.

Things You'll Need Edit

  • Plastic bags
  • Empty tissue/wipe boxes
  • Plastic bag tube

External LinksEdit

http://www.wikihow.com/Recycle-Old-Plastic-Bags

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