Going Beyond Recycling

While recycling plastic bags is an important part of being an environmentally conscious consumer, it is also important to remember to reduce and reuse the plastic bags you accumulate before recycling.

When it comes to reduce, the principle is very basic. If you don’t need a bag… don’t take one. Often people bag one or two items that they could hand carry or bag items with handles. Try to avoid this to reduce the number of bags you take home.

But when it comes to the times when you do need a bag, fortunately they are a popular product that can be reused in a variety of different ways. In fact, a recent APCO study found that about 90% of American households reuse some of their plastic bags and an Environment Australia study found that more than 60% of all plastic bags are reused at least once. Perhaps the most popular way to reuse plastic bags is for trash can liners. This is a popular reuse option not only because it prevents consumers from spending money on plastic trash bags, but also because plastic bags use less plastic material than thicker plastic trash bags.

A few of my favorite reuse ideas consumers have shared, include:

  1. Waste bin liners
  2. Pet waste
  3. Use them on your next shopping trip
  4. Storage bags
  5. Carry a wet swim suit home from the pool/gym
  6. Wrap shoes when packing for trip
  7. Cut into yarn for crocheting
  8. Wrap up used diapers when you are outside the house
  9. Pad/protect items before they are mailed
  10. Protect seasonal decorations before storing them
  11. Keep one or two in your car to collect trash
  12. Carry your lunch
  13. Peel vegetables into them
  14. Carry along on a walk to pick up trash
  15. Donate bags to food pantries

After you have reused your bag or if you don’t need your bags for these or any other uses, Hilex Poly always recommends bringing you plastic bags back to your local supermarket for recycling. Do you have a favorite reuse idea not included in this list? Please contact us and we will add your idea to our ever-growing list!