Reusing Plastic Bags

Around the House —

  • Use plastic grocery sacks as wastebasket liners, particularly where wet items may be thrown out.
  • A dozen bags rolled up tight fit into a small ziplock bag, freeing up lots of space.
  • Bags can protect exterior water and gas valves in the wintertime.
  • Take bags back to the store for reuse while shopping, or for recycling.
  • Plastic bags keep dust away when storing off-season shoes, clothes.
  • Take bags to the food bank/pantry for reuse.
  • Use for sorting or storage of craft supplies.
  • Use plastic sacks to cushion breakable items in boxes for storage or moving.
  • Store outgrown clothing to await the next child in plastic bags.
  • Use them to take clothing to the Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Clothing Drives in May, July or October

For the Holidays —

  • Make Christmas wreaths with bags (ideas on Pinterest, in magazines, etc.)
  • Hide presents from the family.
  • Protect gifts from rain and snow during holiday trips and visits.
  • To keep needles from your Christmas tree off the carpet, cut open a large trash bag and place under the stand.
  • When you take the tree apart after the holidays, put the pieces into heavy plastic bags for storage or for transporting natural trees to a recycling site — but please remove and discard the bags once at the chipping site.
  • Put a small bag on your hands when handling the tree trunk to keep off pine tar.

In the Workshop or Garage —

  • Store a paintbrush full of oil-base paint at the end of the day to use it again the next day without having to use a solvent to store it overnight. Just wrap the brush in the bag and put it in the refrigerator until the next morning.
  • Slip them under the car to catch those last few drops of oil after an oil change.
  • Keep leftover paint fresh by pouring it into a heavyweight, sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Put the bag in the original paint can and tap the lid closed.
  • Clamp irregular shapes together with a sand-filled plastic bag.

Out and About —

  • Keep clothes dry on outdoor or waterborne trips.
  • Line your backpack with them. Or bicycle pack.
  • When packing for travel, use plastic bags to put your shoes in.
  • Give them to thrift stores or garage sales for their reuse.
  • Use as garbage containers in cars.
  • Containers for plants to be transplanted.
  • Turn the big ones into ponchos.
  • Use for clean-up after your animals.

Students —

  • Bags can be hung on the door handles for quick containment.
  • Use as trash bags in dorm rooms.
  • Use plastic grocery bags to store aluminum cans for recycling.
  • Put a plastic bag on a stadium seat when it is raining.
  • Use as book covers.


Most grocery and department stores provide a bin near their front entrance where you can deposit plastic bags for recycling.

Donate Now 309/21/2016