How To Avoid Ending Up with a House Full of Plastic Bags

If you’re like me, you do your best to avoid plastic bags, but you end up with a house full of them anyway. There are the plastic bags I get because I forgot to specify “no bag”; the ones I got because the merchant is used to putting everything in bags automatically even though we say “No bag please”; and the ones that are almost impossible to avoid unless we are willing to forgo entire categories of food, because so many foods come packaged in plastic.

Still, it is worth doing our best to avoid them, especially the flimsy plastic grocery bags that are not good for reuse. (Some folks reuse them as trash-can liners, but trash cans don’t really need liners, as long as you are not throwing food scraps in your trash. Which you shouldn’t be, because food in the trash creates a heavy smelly mess. And, food scraps are way too useful to put in the trash.)

The less-flimsy, more durable types of plastic bags, the ones that come into our homes as packaging for food and other everyday goods, can at least be made into less of a cluttery nuisance. And can even be very useful in certain cases!

• I keep some folded in my canvas grocery-shopping bags, to use when buying small items such as small fruits & veggies, nuts or candy purchased in bulk, garlic cloves, etc.

• I use some in my kitchen utensil drawers and “junk drawers” to keep stuff separated into different categories (batteries, keys, twist-ties, plug adapters, etc).

• I use some to store condiment packets and other potentially sticky items, so my kitchen cabinets stay neater.

• I use some on my craft shelves to separate different categories of arts & crafts supplies; and on my tool shelves to separate different types of screws & other hardware.

• I use some to store different categories of clothing items such as socks, gloves.

• Inside a purse or hip-pouch, too, I use small plastic bags to store small objects such as my earphones, business cards, little notebook, etc., so they don’t get mushed or tangled with one another.

One good thing about using plastic bags to keep different types of stuff separated in a purse, drawer, etc., is that the plastic bag will last a long time that way, since it gets very little exposure to sun or other elements in that enclosed space.

Of course, we could always just adopt the conventional approach to plastic bags, which is just to accept them unthinkingly at the point of purchase, then throw them “away” after their intended single use. But we’re not going there!!! Because we all know There Is No “Away”!

What are some of your favorite tips for avoiding plastic bags, and for reusing the ones you can’t avoid?