By now you know that paper or plastic aren’t your only options when you go to the store. Carrying reusable bags with you is an increasingly popular and easy choice. Many grocery stores sell reusable grocery bags that are inexpensive, durable and carry a lot more than traditional plastic or paper bags.
Reusable bags are a great idea, right? It’s not difficult to see how they fit into a green lifestyle. Sometimes, though, you want a plastic bag to do something like dispose of chicken bones or clean up after your dog. You depend on those bags at times. If you don’t take the plastic bags from the grocery store, what are you going to use for those necessary jobs?
There are lots of other options and most of these options end up in the trash anyway.
Bread bags – Most sandwich breads, hot dog buns, pitas, English muffins and other breads come in plastic bags that get thrown in the trash without a second use. They are a great substitution for plastic grocery bags.
Bags from inside a cereal box – You probably already recycle your cereal boxes, why not get a second use out of the inside bag at the same time. Dump any crumbs at the bottom outside for the birds, and save the bags.
Frozen vegetable bags – If you carefully cut open the bags when you first use them, when they are empty they can be saved.
Newspaper bags – Many home delivery newspapers come in a plastic bag. If you get a newspaper every day, you have one reusable plastic bag each day.
Plastic wrappers from magazines – By carefully opening the wrapper, they can be used a second time before going in the trash.
Goodie bags from birthday parties – My kids always come home with these bags full of candy and little trinkets. Save the bags for a second use.
If you look around your house purposefully, you’ll see many more plastic bags that you usually throw in the trash without using them a second time. These could easily do the same jobs as the plastic grocery bags.
Now, If you’re anything like me, you’ll still end up with plastic bags from grocery stores or other retailers every once in a while. I don’t remember my reusable bags 100% of the time, and sometimes I need to accept a bag. I keep those bags separate and take them to my local grocery store to stick in the recycling bin. More and more stores are placing these bins at the entrance of the store.
Unlike the frozen vegetable bags or wrappers from magazines, grocery and retail plastic bags are recyclable. It makes more sense environmentally to use the non-recyclable bags for the things that end up in the trash, and recycle the bags that can be recycled.
Any other ideas for sources of plastic bags?