How to Save Money By Reusing Plastic Bags

How to Save Money By Reusing Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are incredibly convenient and provide an easy way to transport our groceries and other purchases home. However, they also contribute to waste and environmental issues when used only once and then discarded. Reusing plastic bags is an easy way to reduce waste and save money. In this article, I’ll share tips on how to save money by reusing plastic bags in your daily life.

Why Reuse Plastic Bags?

Here are some key reasons why reusing plastic bags is beneficial:

  • Saves money – Reusing bags means you don’t have to keep buying new ones. This saves you money over time.
  • Reduces waste – Plastic bags are a huge source of waste. Reusing them keeps them out of landfills and cuts down on plastic pollution.
  • Helps the environment – Plastic bag production requires resources and energy. By reusing bags, you lower your environmental impact.
  • Prevents bag clutter – Reusing bags clears up clutter so you don’t end up with piles of bags in cupboards and drawers.

Making a habit of reusing plastic bags is an easy and effective way to be more sustainable in your daily life.

Creative Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

With a little creativity, plastic bags can be repurposed in many handy ways:

Reuse as Trash Bags

Plastic shopping bags make excellent small trash can liners for bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices. Just be sure any bags used for food trash are kept away from pets or small children.

Reuse for Food Storage

Bags can be washed and reused to store food in your refrigerator or freezer. This helps keeps food fresh and prevents leaks.

Reuse as Travel Bags

Keep a supply of clean bags in your car or luggage to use as travel bags. They’re perfect for storing snacks, souvenirs, dirty clothes, and other items while on trips.

Reuse for Organizing

Use plastic bags to organize items in drawers, cupboards, lockers, and other storage spaces. Label the bags to easily identify the contents.

Reuse as Gift Wrap

For small gifts like gift cards or jewelry, a tied up plastic bag makes a quick and cute gift wrap. Get creative with bows, ribbons, and decorations.

Reuse for Pet Waste

Designate old plastic bags to use as poop bags when walking your dog. Just be sure to tie them up tight before disposing.

7 Tips for Successful Plastic Bag Reuse

Follow these handy tips to easily integrate plastic bag reuse into your routine:

1. Rinse and dry bags after use

Give each bag a quick rinse and dry completely before storing for reuse. Letting them air dry prevents mold growth.

2. Separate reuse bags from single-use bags

Keep your clean reuse bags separate from other plastic bags destined for single use. Use different cupboards or bins to avoid mixing them up.

3. Label reused freezer bags

Use a permanent marker to label any reused plastic bags stored in the freezer with contents and date. This prevents confusion and contamination.

4. Check for damage before reusing

Inspect bags for holes, tears, or brittleness before reusing. Damaged bags should be discarded to prevent leaks or breaks.

5. Consider longevity of use

Avoid reusing bags for long-term storage or heavy items. Single-use plastic bags are thin and weaken over time.

6. Wash frequently used bags

Plastic bags used for food storage or trash should be washed periodically in hot, soapy water to keep them clean and sanitary.

7. Fold or roll neatly for easy access

After drying, fold or roll up reused bags neatly so they can be easily grabbed when needed. Store them somewhere convenient.

Creative Upcycling Ideas for Worn Out Bags

When plastic bags are too damaged or worn out for reuse, get creative with upcycling! Here are a few ideas:

  • Use as stuffing for pillows, cushions, or draft stoppers.
  • Weave strips of plastic into reusable tote bags, placemats, or rugs.
  • Melt down into plastic beads for craft projects.
  • Cut into strips to make crochet plastic yarn for baskets, coasters, etc.
  • Use shredded plastic as a substitute for bubble wrap when packing boxes.
  • Incorporate colorful strips into art projects, collages, and murals.

With a little imagination, plastic bags can be upcycled into many useful items before eventually being recycled responsibly.

Making Reusing Plastic Bags a Habit

The key to saving money by reusing plastic bags is to turn it into a consistent habit. Here are some final tips:

  • Get your family involved – Make reusing bags a shared habit among all household members. Assign tasks like washing or upcycling.

  • Store bags conveniently – Keep a stash of clean bags someplace easy to grab like by your keys or in your car.

  • Carry reuseable bags when shopping – Keep reusable cloth bags in your purse, car, and by the door to use when shopping.

  • Say no to new bags – When shopping, politely refuse new plastic bags if you have bags to reuse.

  • Get creative and have fun! – See how many ways you can repurpose those free plastic bags.

Adopting the habit of reusing plastic bags takes a bit of effort at first. But with time, it becomes second nature and helps you save money while reducing waste. By making plastic bag reuse part of your routine, you help create a more sustainable lifestyle.