How to Repurpose Plastic Shopping Bags into Garbage Can Liners
I love reusing and repurposing items to reduce waste and get more use out of the things I already have. One easy way I repurpose items is by turning plastic shopping bags into garbage can liners. This simple DIY project helps the environment by giving plastic bags a second life and saves money by reducing the need to buy premade liners.
The materials needed for this project are very minimal. The main item you’ll need is a stash of plastic shopping bags. I like to use the thicker plastic bags from grocery stores, retailers, etc. as they hold up better than the thin produce bags. Other supplies include:
- Plastic shopping bags (at least 15-20 bags)
- Ruler or measuring tape
Optional items that can help:
- Hole punch
- String, ribbon, or twist tie
Measure and Cut Bags
The first step is to measure and cut the plastic bags to the desired size.
I like to make my DIY garbage bag liners roughly the same size as standard 13-gallon tall kitchen bags. For this size, I usually cut the shopping bags to about 25-27 inches tall. The width can vary depending on the bag size, but around 20-22 inches wide generally works well.
To cut the bags:
- Fully open the bag and lay flat
- Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure and mark the desired height and width
- Cut along the marked lines using scissors
- Repeat with remaining bags, cutting to the same approximate size
Tip: Avoid cutting the seams where the handles connect as this weakens the bag.
Connect Bags Together
Once all the bags are cut, it’s time to connect them together into one long liner. There are a few options for joining the bags:
Hole Punch and Twist Tie
- At the edge of each bag, use a hole punch to create two holes about half an inch apart
- Align the holes of two bags
- Thread a twist tie through the aligned holes to connect the bags
- Continue connecting bags in this way
Ribbon or String
- Cut a long piece of ribbon or string
- Lay bag edges overlapping slightly
- Stitch through both layers using the ribbon
- Continue stitching bags together into a long chain
The connected bags should form one long continuous liner. Make the liner as long as desired – I usually connect 10-15 bags for each garbage liner.
Thread Liner Through Can
The last step is threading the liner into the garbage can:
- Take liner to the garbage can
- Grab the end of the liner and poke through the bottom of the empty can
- Continue threading the liner up through the can until the whole liner is inside
- Pull the top of the liner over the rim of the can and you’re done!
Reuse and Replace Liners
To reuse the plastic bag liners:
- When full, simply lift the liner out of the garbage can and tie off the top
- Dispose of the bag and replace with a new liner
The liners can be reused several times before needing to be replaced. When a liner starts to show wear, simply untie it from the chain of bags and connect on a new one!
This easy project is a great way to get more use out of old plastic bags. Creating DIY garbage liners reduces waste while also saving money. Give it a try! With just some basic materials and a few easy steps, you can repurpose plastic bags in an eco-friendly and useful way.