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9 Clever Uses for Plastic Produce Bags

Don't throw away the plastic produce bags from the grocery store! You can prevent extra plastic waste by reusing the bags with one of our clever ideas.

Cropped shot of young woman selecting red pepper at health food storeRaphye Alexius/Getty Images

Don’t be in your bag about it

Even if you’re an avid tote user, plastic bags somehow still manage to colonize the storage closet nearest the kitchen or cabinet underneath the sink. We are begging you not to just junk them. Here are some creative ways to recycle, or even up-cycle them.

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Pick up after the dog

Plastic produce bags work great as dog waste bags. Simply grab one the next time you take Rover for a walk. Cat people: this is the easiest way to recycle your plastic bags.

Young man wearing face cover selecting string beans at farmer's market to prevent spreading the covid 19 virus.NicolasMcComber/Getty Images

Reuse them at the farmers market

Save your plastic produce bags to reuse at the farmers market. That way your farmers market tote stays nice and clean and your farm-fresh bounty is safely wrapped up in separate bags. Here are 30 other household items you had no idea were reusable.

Overhead view of suitcase being packed for vacationGary John Norman/Getty Images

Wrap your shoes

There’s dirt and bacteria on the bottom of your shoes, and when you place them in your luggage, all that gunk can get on your clean clothes and other items. Here’s the solution: Before you pack your shoes, wrap them in a produce bag. Kenya has the strongest plastic bag ban in the world: has it worked?

Parsley covered by a plastic bagTaste of Home

Store fresh herbs

The best way to store fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro is to place the ends in a small vase with water, and then put them in the fridge. But home refrigerators are notoriously dry places. To prevent your herbs from drying out, tie a produce bag around the top of the bunch to trap humidity. This is definitely one of the more clever uses for the plastic bags you have around the house.

Jumbled plate of foodGolubovy/Shutterstock

Cover leftovers

Most people store leftovers in Tupperware, or cover them in foil; but when you’re in a pinch, a produce bag works. Simply wrap your plate of food in a plastic produce bag and leave it in the fridge. You’re not creating extra waste, you don’t have to clean an extra dish and your leftovers will be just as tasty.

trash bin in the toiletWin Nondakowit/EyeEm/Getty Images

Line a small trash can

You can buy small trash can liners for your bathroom trash cans, but a produce bag works just as well. Store your produce bags with the other trash bags, and use as needed. Though even if we had nothing to line our tiny trashcans with, it’d still be worth it to ban plastic bags! It’s one of the ways Rwanda became one of the cleanest nations on earth.

Close-up of father changing diaper of his newborn baby daughter. Little child, girl on changing table in bathroom with rattle toys.romrodinka/Getty Images

Take out smelly diapers

If you have a baby or toddler, keep some plastic produce bags near the changing table. When it’s time to dispose of a smelly diaper, simply place it in a produce bag for easy transfer to the outdoor garbage can. Are you not entirely sure if it’s food safe to skip plastic bags at the grocery store? Spoiler: it is!

Cups in a car holderDag Sundberg/Getty Images

Keep your car clean

Keep a few produce bags in the glove compartment of your car. Then when the kids leave snack wrappers or other trash starts to accumulate, you can clean it up quickly by throwing it in a produce bag. Here are 13 brilliant ways other countries are replacing plastic.

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Protect paint brushes

If you’re working on a paint project and need to take a break, wrap your paintbrush in a produce bag. This will keep your brush wet and ready to use again so you can skip the step of rinsing out the brush and waiting for it to dry. These 22 companies are getting rid of plastic for good—support them!

Originally Published on Taste of Home

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.