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Recycle your plastic bags

Although carrier bags today use 70% less plastic than they did 20 years ago, most are still made from polyethylene, a kind of plastic which is non-degradable. This kind of plastic takes a long time to break down, possibly up to hundreds of years.

 

I know, we all hate them with a passion. But despite taking cotton bags when we go shopping (most of the time…) and using them as bin liners, we still have about seventy-nine billion plastic bags in the house.

We have two of those bag tidy things full, another load wedged between the freezer and the wall, and then ones from clothes shops and the like in the bedroom (because they’ve yet to walk downstairs yet).  What, oh what, can we do with the accursed things?

1. Turn your old plastic carrier bags into a yarn that can be used for a variety of projects. You can use any thin shopping bags with handles. They come mostly in white, greys, blues and greens. Make sure the bags are clean. Wash and dry if necessary. Click here for full instructions.

With shoppers coming home with more than 1 million plastic bags per minute, we all know that cutting back by using fabric bags is an easy way to stop litter. But how much good are those bags actually doing you? If you're not keeping them clean, choosing sustainable materials, or finding smaller sizes for produce, then you might not be making as much of an impact as you think.

The real key to making your grocery bags work for you is both the simplest and the hardest change: remembering to take them to the store. Keep a few in your car, some fold-up versions in your purse, backpack, or briefcase; hang a few on the door or in the garage as a reminder when you're headed to the car.

Plastic carrier bags caught in the trees along the side of the road are commonplace in most countries. I wondered what I could do to make a statement - to turn something as unsightly as a "bag in a tree" into something usable. After some experimentation, I came up with a technique to attach handle bags together so that they could be woven into outdoor rugs. Click here for instructions for this project.

I am sure that many of you have piles and piles of bags stored away somewhere and taking up space. I have come across an easy way to store your plastic bags so they will take up hardly any space, in fact you can even pop them into your handbag so that you won’t need to buy bags the next time you go shopping!

Here’s how:
Flatten the carrier bag to remove all the air. Fold it over into a strip approximately 6cm wide. Starting at the bottom, fold over a triangular piece, and then fold the triangular piece over itself to continue the triangle shape to the end of the strip. Leave a small section of bag to tuck into the triangle.