WNWNW – Plastic

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday.

Let’s talk plastic. As in plastic grocery bags.

I hate these things. Loath them. They accumulate and breed. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from haveing one in the cupboard to 12. They’re faster than bunnies. This is why I use these:
I’ve made some and I’ve bought some. There are times when I forget them so I buy more. We have to have at least 20 or more different reusable bags lying around here.

    But somehow, we still have bags.

  • Reuse them until they fall apart.
  • Use them as packing material (I don’t do this but I have gotten packages filled with bags maybe that’s where mine started to breed…)
  • Knit, crochet or weave strips of them into a stronger reusable bag
  • Use them as doggy waste baggies (hand if you live in the city)

What do you do with them to keep them out of the landfills?

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21 Responses to WNWNW – Plastic

  1. Michelle says:

    I can’t stand them either! Chris and I have about 10 in the trunks of each car so that we are rarely without. We often walk to the grocery store and take out backpacks when we do that so we don’t usually have a lot of plastic bags, but somehow we do accumulate some. The Ontario grocery stores have a recycling program so we just drop them off and they get taken care of!

  2. Eva says:

    Luxembourg’s come up with a great system. We have a company that collects plastic bottles and then transforms those into reusable grocery bags. The bags are pretty big, but not too big. Very sturdy. The good thing is that if they break or get dirty, you can exchange them for a new one. On top of that if you want a regular plastic bag you have to pay. Most shops will give you extra points (if they have those rewards systems) if you use reusable bags. I think it has been almost 2 years now that I haven’t had a single ‘regular’ plastic bag. We also keep them in the trunk of the car and it is an automatism to take them with us to the shop. Those bags are also great to transport laundry to and from the laundry room hehehe… or to keep my fiber/yarn stash somewhat organised :)

  3. Miranda says:

    I try and avoid them as much as possible! It’s inevitable that some start accumulating in my house, but one of the grocery chains has a recycling program for them so when they start to take over I just drop them off there!

  4. Lesley says:

    I use my as kitty waste bags when I change the litter box.

    I really like your idea of knitting them into stronger bags though!!! Must buy some bigger needles :)

  5. Amy O' says:

    Well, in a house that has 4 cats and 6 boxes (don’t ask – we tried to take 2 away, but they weren’t having it!) we use them when we scoop – so they do get reused but unfortunately, they also end up in the landfill. Hmmm maybe we can start using paper bags for that… which to me means “beer bags” so we’d have to drink more beer… is that such a bad thing?

  6. naomi says:

    I also use them for scooping cat litter. Or as packing material, if they’ve got holes in them.

    But most of the time, I use the two reusable bags I carry around nearly all the time, one nylon-ish and one lightweight canvas.

  7. PuppyMomma says:

    I use them to put our plastic recycling in. The city takes them and recycles them too. But I carry reuseable fabric totes with me usually, so I try not to get them at all.

  8. Sara says:

    Mine are admittedly sitting idle in one of the kitchen cupboards. I’ve got about eleventy million and I swear they’re breeding like rabbits. I guess it’s good that I’m not throwing them into a landfill, on the other hand, they’re reproducing.

  9. Kristen says:

    I too carry fabric/knit/crocheted/canvas bags with me everywhere. But still end up with some of the dreaded plastic ones, fortunately our local supermarket has a recycling program, so I can dump them off there. Though, in the past, I have cut them into strips to make shopping bags, and a friend has made outdoor rugs from some, (way cool by the way). I thought using them as packing when mailing would be good too, til I got a box filled with them, ugh!

  10. Ann says:

    Like you, I have quite a selection of reusable shopping bags that are stuffed in the back of my cars, and in the kitchen for the next trip out to the car. I put the empty milk bottles in the empty bags in the kitchen so that I’ll eventually remember to return them.

    As for the plastic ones? I use them as bathroom garbage can liners. It still goes to the landfill, but at least they have been reused. Unfortunately, I’ve almost gone through my ancient stash of plastic bags that I’m faced with the need to buy garbage can liners.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I usually use the reusable. When I forget I ask for paper, as we use those to collect paper recycling. When I get plastic I use them for animal waste cleanup, so they do go back to the landfill, but I do need them. It seems to be working pretty well for me to keep this chain of use.

  12. JessaLu says:

    I have two sets of envirosax (love them because they roll up which makes it easier to throw one in your purse) and a set of produce bags so there aren’t too many plastic bags coming into the house (it also helps that my daughter works at the grocery store so when I walk in usually someone asks me if I’ve remembered my bags, hehe). When the bags do make it into the house, I use them as wastebasket liners and freezer bags. If you buy something that you need to pop in the freezer while still in it’s original packaging, the shopping bags are really good at keeping freezer burn at bay and they’re *way* cheaper than ziploc bags. ;o)

  13. Kym says:

    I use them to line my diaper pail (we cloth diaper), then after a use or two of that, I use them for kitty disposal. Well, kitty waste disposal…
    We had an accumulation of canvas bags from all over, and we use them for EVERYTHING…including having several in each car so they are always available for the store.
    Recently Meijer (the big grocery chain in Michigan…and Northern IN, I think) started offering recycling for plastic bags. I’ve heard they are difficult to recycle and can’t be put into public recycle bins…maybe store recycling will make a difference.

  14. Annalea says:

    You can put them in the plastic bag recycling bins at most larger stores. ;o) Our city recycling program doesn’t accept them (as most programs don’t), but I’m glad that Wal-Mart’s and Fred Meyer’s do. (Those are two big ones where I’ve lived.)

    I also have a bunch of reusable bags, and use them about 9 out of 10 times . . . usually I have to leave the checkout and run to the car to get them. lol It’s worth, it though, both for the environmental impact (er, de-impact?) and the small discount each store gives for bringing my own bags, from 5-10 cents each.

  15. We use cloth bags for shopping but when there’s no choice and I have to bring home a plastic one, it gets reused for cleaning out the kitty litter.

  16. Amanda says:

    This was my new year’s resolution – to STOP using plastic bags! I’ve been mostly successful, almost always remembering to bring my reusable shopping bags along with me, even clothes shopping. i also sewed nylon mesh produce bags for fruits and veggies. i still haven’t found a solution for wet garbage, so using a plastic bag or two every week is still on the menu, but i keep my dry trash in a separate bin and just dump it into the dumpster, no bag needed. i also put wet garbage into the bag that bread comes in, etc.

  17. Steph says:

    I love the idea of knitting/crocheting the strips into something else. I’ve seen people make toys of of it!

  18. Faith says:

    We have a large stash of re-usable fabric bags that I keep in my car for grocery visits, etc (here in Germany if you shop “on the economy”, there is usually no choice, and you either have to pay for a plastic bag or a little more for a fabric one, so it is always worth it to bring your own!). However, at the commissary, if I do forget my re-usables it’s the same as in America, and they’ll bag your stuff in the thin plastic bags. I use those bags to put dirty diapers in, instead of spending extra money on a diaper pail and diaper pail liners.

  19. Bad Hippie says:

    A lot of small “local” stores will take your clean, used bags and re-use them to package up their products. For example, our local, independent bookstore (which doubles as a Ben Franklin’s) uses used plastic bags for their customers’ “new” purchases. So does our healthfood store. I doubt a big chain would do this (health issues, I’m sure), but if you have local stores…they might just do this!

  20. Cheri says:

    Hate them! They do multiply like bunnies. We take a handful with us when we hit the beach with the dogs. Eva told us about how Luxembourg deals with them; I think that Ireland does the same thing. I was grateful I had my backpack!

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