7 Ways to Keep Plastic Bags Out of Landfills

Like many…

other people, you may find yourself overrun with plastic bags from the local grocery store.

We all know how problematic these bags are.

Of the more than 380 billion plastic bags that are used in the United States each year, more than 100 billion come from grocery stores.

Sadly, only about one to two percent of them are recycled, so a huge percentage of them end up in landfills.

You can do your part to keep that from happening by using reusable shopping bags, but what should you do about the bags that you’ve already accumulated?

The following tips are sure to help!

1. Donate Them 

With a few quick phone calls, you can easily find local businesses and other locations that could use plastic bags.

Daycare centers, food banks and libraries are just a few examples.
Why throw away perfectly good bags when they can be of use to someone else?

2. Store Dirty Clothes while Traveling 

A common traveling conundrum is finding a place to store dirty clothes.

It’s especially tricky when you are making several stops during your vacation.

Instead of allowing your dirty clothes and your clean clothes to comingle, why not store the dirty ones in used plastic shopping bags?

Upon returning home, dump the contents of those bags into your hampers and go from there.

3. Keep Your Car Tidy 

It’s a lot more pleasant to commute to work when your car is nice and clean.

Without having a proper place to store trash though, things can get messy pretty quickly.

The last thing you want to do is toss things out the window, so why not put those plastic bags to use?

Keep a couple in your glove box or elsewhere in your vehicle.

When the need arises, use plastic bags to store trash until you arrive home.

You won’t have to deal with a messy, cluttered vehicle, and your plastic bags will continue to get plenty of use.

4. Use to Pack Delicate Items with Care 

To get glassware and other delicate items from point A to point B in one piece, you should try wrapping them in layers of used plastic shopping bags.

When several bags are used, they create a really nice buffer that can prevent damage.

You will still need to handle your boxes with care, of course, but the plastic bags will minimize the risk by a considerable degree.

5. Use Them Again at the Store 

When your drawers and cupboards are bursting with used plastic shopping bags, it seems a little silly to invest in reusable grocery bags.

There’s nothing wrong with bringing your used plastic grocery bags to the store and reusing them.

Some stores even have collection bins for them.

If yours collects them, find out what they do with the old bags.

In many cases, they make sure that the bags are recycled.

6. Pick Up Litter 

If you enjoy going for walks, why not stick a plastic grocery bag in your pocket and collect litter while you’re at it?

This is a great way to help keep your community clean, and it allows the plastic bags to be put to effective and practical use.

7. Ward Off Ice and Snow

Nothing is worse than spending several minutes scraping snow and ice off of side mirrors and windshield wiper blades.

A great way to sidestep this issue is by covering them up with used plastic bags during the night.

In the morning, just slip them off and be on your way.

Store them in your garage and reuse the same ones each day.

Final Thoughts…

The preceding tips are just the beginning.

There’s a lot you can do with used plastic shopping bags, so don’t just throw them away.

By getting as much use out of them as possible, you’ll be doing your part to keep them out of landfills.

The best thing of all, of course, is to not use them at all.

You’re bound to end up with at least a few, so keep these tips in mind so that they are used effectively.

Have any more to add to the list?

Please share your ideas in the comments below…