How to Reuse Old Plastic Bags As Trash Can Liners
Reusing old plastic bags as trash can liners is an easy way to give them a second life and reduce waste. Here is a step-by-step guide on how I reuse plastic bags as bin liners:
Gather and Prepare the Bags
The first step is collecting plastic bags that are clean, dry, and free of holes. Some good sources include:
Grocery store bags – These are usually made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which is durable.
Department store bags – Also made from durable HDPE plastic. Look for thicker bags.
Dry cleaning bags – These heavyweight plastic bags are ideal for holding heavier trash.
Avoid flimsy produce bags and bags with tears or holes. Also, reuse plastic bags for trash first before contemplating other DIY reuse craft projects.
Once I’ve gathered a good supply, I do a quick inspection of each bag:
Check for holes – Poke your fingers in different areas feeling for small holes.
Look for tears – Examine seams and handles for splitting or tearing.
Remove debris – Shake out any crumbs or dirt.
Smooth out – Eliminate creases so it lays flat.
Then I stack the usable bags together and store them within reach.
How to Use as Trash Bags
The key to success is taking a few extra seconds whenever you tie off a full bag of trash.
Step 1: Place a Bag in the Trash Bin
For small wastebaskets, use grocery bags.
For larger bins, use thicker department store bags.
For heavy loads, reuse dry cleaning or thick HDPE bags.
Make sure the bag is large enough to fit over the top of the bin.
Step 2: Open the Bag and Fold Over the Top
After securing the bag in place, fold over the top edge of the bag all the way around the bin. This helps the bag keep its shape and stay in place.
Step 3: Load Trash Carefully
As you add trash, press down occasionally so it settles to the bottom of the bag. Try to avoid letting it pile up high.
Step 4: Tie Off the Bag
When full, lift the bag out carefully keeping the trash contained. Twist the top closed before tying off with a simple knot.
Step 5: Nest the Next Bag
Before discarding the full bag, place a new plastic bag into the bin and fold the top over. This preps the bin for the next use.
Tips for Avoiding Problems
With a little practice, reusing old plastic bags as trash liners can become second nature. Here are some handy tips:
Double bag heavier trash – This prevents breakage and spills.
Use binder clips – Clip the folded top to the bin to keep bags from slipping.
Add baking soda – This absorbs smells between changes.
Empty promptly – Don’t overfill bags which can cause tears.
Pack carefully – Distribute trash evenly and don’t overload one area.
With the proper bags and technique, you can feel good about keeping plastic bags circulating and cutting down on waste. This simple green living tip makes a small difference for my household and the environment.