Friday, September 23, 2011

[094] Recycled: Plastic Bag Holder

In a previous post (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) I mentioned using reusable shopping bags and reusing/recycling plastic shopping bags. Don't forget, you can help change the world one pledge at a time at and earn points towards free rewards. (sign up using this link by October 1st and I'll earn 10 reward points!)

In 2008 I started using reusable shopping bags. I'll be honest, I don't bring them with me on every trip to the store. Since taking the RecycleBank pledge to carry reusable bags with me, I have utilized these bags more in the last month than I have in the last three years. If I have forgotten to put a reusable bag in my purse, I try my best to avoid using plastic bags at checkout.
  • Purchasing one item? Do you really need it in a bag? No. It really irks me when customers ask me to bag their gift/greeting card or any one item that can just be carried out.
  • Med - large sized box items? Ask to go bagless on the larger items. Use your reusable bags on the smaller items.
  • Buying gifts? Don't waste money on a gift bag unless you know it will be reused. Buy reusable shopping bags in place of gift bags.
  • Buying gifts that you need to hide? DON'T DOUBLE BAG. If you're gift shopping, keep a blanket or sheet in the car. Chances are, you're just going to throw away those extra bags anyway.
You've just come home from a big shopping trip with roughly 10 - 15 shopping bags. Did you know that plastic bags are 100% recyclable? They're also reusable. It's common to reuse these as trash bags for small trash cans, which I have been doing since I was a little girl. My mother always kept a small trash can in every bedroom, bathroom, and living room.

My family moved into a new house in the spring of 1996 while my youngest sister was only a few months. It had been a long time since we had anyone in diapers in our house. I'm not entirely sure where my mother found this method of storing plastic bags, but it's something we've been doing for over 15 years now.
Recycled Plastic Bag Holder

  • 1 Gallon jug, thoroughly washed and dried
  • 1 permanent marker
  • 1 pair of scissors (box cutter optional)
  • All your spare plastic bags

1. Remove any labels.

2. Draw a circle on the jug.

3. Carefully make an incision and cut out the circle. This will be the opening where you'll place your plastic bags. (My box cutter went off to the side, so I ended up with this tear drop shape.)

4. Smooth out any rough edges with the scissors, careful not to cut the opening too big. Otherwise it won't hold your bags properly.
5. Use a paper towel to soak up any moisture left behind from washing.
6. Ball up your plastic bags and stuff them into your container.

Voila! New plastic bag holder.

Is your holder too plain for you? Decorate it to fit your style; paint the inside one color and the outside another color.

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