Creative Re-Use Ideas #4 -- Those Darned Single-Use Plastic Bags

by Lee Ann Hopkins June 17, 2019

Creative Re-Use Ideas #4 -- Those Darned Single-Use Plastic Bags

No matter how zero-waste or reduced-waste you try to be, those single-use plastic bags pop up when you least want them.  But there they are.  Did you know that in the U.S. alone, we use 100 BILLION plastic grocery bags a year?  Just take that fact in for a moment.  And while you're taking that in, let me offer a few creative re-use ideas for those bags before you take them to your local grocery store for recycling.  (Yes, please recycle these at a grocery store that participates in these recycling efforts. I'll write more in another post about these wraps, films and plastic bags that can be dropped off at certain stores.  Until then though, if you want to learn more you can go to

I digress.

Here are 8 ideas for re-using those single-use plastic bags:

1.  Use them as paint tray liners and protect your paint brushes when you take your lunch break. (Simply wrap your paint brush up in the bag and put it in the refrigerator so that the paint doesn't dry on your brush.)

2.  Cover your shoes when packing your suitcase.  This keeps all the gunk from your shoes from that nice silk blouse or suit jacket.

3.  Tie the plastic bags around your knees for gardening to protect your knees with a bit extra padding AND all the mud.

4.  Donate your plastic bags to farmers market vendors.  Unfortunately, not everyone carries their canvas bags to the market.  And often, some items just do better in a plastic sleeve.

5.  Similarly to #2, this is a travel suggestion.  Use the bags for dirty laundry to separate from your clean clothes because we always take more than we need on those trips, right?

6.  Make "plarm" yarn and upcycle this plastic yarn into something cool, like a grocery bag, place mats, soda cozy or a rug.  You'll need to know how to crochet or braid for this creative re-use idea.  To see how plarn is made and used, you can search YouTube for how-to videos and projects.

7.  Store in the glove box for those occasional passengers who get car sick.  They do come in handy for other things because life gets messy in the car, especially with little ones.

8.  Use the plastic bags as packing material for protecting fragile items in storage or when you ship things to your parents in a different state.  They cushion much better than those "peanuts".

That's our list for the week.  If you have some creative re-use ideas, please send them along to  I'll publish your ideas in the blog, on our Instagram and Facebook feeds.  If you haven't followed us on our new Instagram feed, please do.  You can find us @DoGoodSoapsAndSuds.  On Facebook we are DoGoodSoaps. 

Have a great week, Do-Gooders!  The world is depending on you!

Lee Ann Hopkins
Lee Ann Hopkins


Chief soapologist and lover of all-things-Do-Good, especially those souls who cherish the earth and do their best to protect it.

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