Every Day

2019 Goal: Reuse All Plastic Bags

I have been faithfully returning all of the plastic bags that I get when I shop to the recycling bin in the supermarket. I do this with all of the ones that are not recyclable.

However, I have decided to save them to replace some of the garbage bags that we have to buy. I have started putting meat scraps, bones, and the wrappers from meat in these bags and double wrapping them and throwing them directly in the garbage can in the garage. This keeps my wastebasket in the kitchen from smelling and lets me use just one bag or less a week. I use the garbage disposal for other peelings or scraps after I make stock with them. 

Those tall kitchen garbage bags cost a lot of money to buy just to throw away. So the fewer I use, the less money I spend in a year on them. I usually buy quality ones in bulk at Walmart or from Amazon. If Walmart or anywhere else has a better price after coupon, then of course I would buy them there.

Without all of the scraps, bones and wrappers in them along with no recyclable items, it is pretty easy to get along with one or a half a bag a week. We use grocery store bags for wastebaskets in other rooms. 

I will be using grocery store bags to wrap leftovers too. I also wash and dry our ziplocs that have not had poultry or meat in them and reuse them over and over again.  I try to buy as few ziplocs in a year as possible. Last January, I purchased a lot of zippered bags with Christmas writing on them on clearance at Office Max for $.23 a box. I am still using them.

As I told you in my prior post, I have been saving all of the bread bags to reuse for my homemade breads.

Sometimes we get large bags from department stores. Those fit nicely in our kitchen wastebasket. The veterans also send a bag for donations. When I don’t have any donations, I use them for the kitchen wastebasket also.

I have started saving the produce bags from the market for leftovers. I reuse many of the cereal bags that are in the boxes for food use too.

Just look around you, there are many plastic bags that you can use over and over again. When they no longer work, take them to your local supermarket for recycling. Don’t let them end up in your landfill.

Do you reuse plastic bags? What do you use them for?

9 replies on “2019 Goal: Reuse All Plastic Bags”

Our county banned plastic bags 5 or 6 years ago, meaning no stores can give them out. You can buy a paper bag, and some stores allow the option of buying (a very expensive) plastic bag. As a result, everyone uses durable shopping bags. I keep many in my car, so I'm rarely without. I refuse to pay for a bag, so if I do happen to forget, I'll just wheel my cart to my car & load each item in.

So, I almost never have a plastic bag. When I do, I can always find a use for it. We do still get vegetable/fruit bags from the produce stand, & I use those for packing lunches for the kids, etc.

One of my goals in 2019 is to reduce our consumables for throw away products like ziplocks as well. I'm pretty good at finding creative options for the kids lunches, but my husband is . . . less so. 😉 The kids bike 6 miles to/from school with super heavy bags, so adding additional space & plastic or glassware isn't a good option.

Hi Hawaii Planner,

I know about your ban. Our governor here is looking at that so I have been saving plastic grocery bags for a long time. If I had to pay for bags, I would use reusable also. Thanks for sharing.

I have been doing that with plastic bags for a yr. now it has cut back on trash bags maybe one a week. I get my bags at aldi not sure if best price they are nice. Will have to compare more closely. Trying to cut back on the amount of foil I use this year been using lot of non stick for baking. Joyce

Hi Joyce,

That is terrific about your plastic bags. I have not even thought to check the price at Aldi's. I will do that. Thanks for mentioning it. Good luck with the foil. Can you wash it off if it is not really dirty and use it again?

Hi Liz, this is Chris. This was an interesting post to me, I had never really thought about trying to reuse all plastic bags. There were some good tips in this post, that I will try to work on some of this next year also. The plastic grocery bags- we use a lot of them for the kitty litter. I do save most of my bread ties from the bags, but guess I never really thought about saving the bags, or some of the other food type bags. I am going to ask my son, who is a food scientist, what he thinks would be safe food handling, and will report back. I am going to share the link of this article with him. Thanks for giving me some out of the box things to think about.

Hi, Liz, Chris again. I did share the link of this article with our son, and he said the only things he would caution you about, as far as food safety were:

1. If anything has gone bad in any of the bags you want to re-use, throw them out b/c he is not sure how you could re-wash them adequately

2. Similarly, he would be hesitant to re-use the plastic vegetable bags, b/c if the veggie was re-called for contamination, how would you know which bag you had used for it. Also, he said some veggies are dirty when you get them and he would be cautious about that.

3. He said the cereal and bread bags should be ok, if nothing has gone bad in them, like bread mold.

4. He also said when you wash any of the bags, be careful about the heat when you do wash them and don't wash them in the dishwasher.

5. He agreed with you about not re-using any bags you had stored meat in.

Hope this info helps. 🙂

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