Paper or plastic?
You’re faced with this question every time you pay a visit to the grocery store. Unless of course you live in places like Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco – cities that have banned single-use plastic bags in favor of more environmentally friendly options like reusable plastic or even paper bags.
To reduce the use of carryout plastic bags from grocery stores and other retail outlets, as well as keep them from ending up in the environment. Plastic bags affect the environment in a serious way. They pollute our oceans and kill marine life that mistake plastic bags for food. On land, plastic bags get into soil and slowly release toxic chemicals.
Plastic bags are one of the most commonly littered items on Earth. More than 100 billion of them are used each year in the United States alone. And on a global scale, 8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped into our oceans every year.
Unfortunately, only one to three percent of all plastics used are recycled. The good news is that there are many things you can do with plastic grocery bags if your city hasn’t already banned them.
DIY Plastic Bag Project Ideas
Fuse Plastic Bags to Make Coasters
Keep your table free from water rings by sliding a coaster under your cup or glass. Don’t have any? All you need is some plastic bags and an iron. Follow these steps to keep your table looking brand-new:
- Find a round object the size of a coaster and use it to trace circles on your plastic bags.
- Lay a piece of un-printed paper on an ironing board.
- Place your pieces of cut-out plastic on top of the paper.
- Cover the plastic with another piece of paper.
- Iron each side for 10 to 15 seconds.
Turn a Grocery Bag Into a Bracelet
Impress your family and friends with a stylish new bracelet made entirely out of the grocery bag you just carried your food in. Cut out three strips equal in size and tie them in a knot. From there, braid the strips. Once braided, tie the ends together and cut off the extra plastic. Voila!
Create a Jump Rope
Do you have kids that love to jump rope? Keep them happy, as well as the environment, with a jump rope made out of plastic. It’s a good form of exercise and it won’t cost you a thing.
Make a Tote-ally Awesome Reusable Bag
Rather than dishing out cash for a tote bag at stores like Target and Wal-Mart, why not make your own at home? All you need are the plastic bags you left the grocery store with.
Learn how to turn your plastic bags into a tote bag you can use as a beach bag or a reusable shopping bag.
Craft a Basket Out of Plastic
In this recycled plastic bag project, you’ll need a lot of bags and time to weave them all into a sturdy basket.
Take a look at the Green Living section of our blog for more tips on living sustainably and making a positive impact on your environment. Have some more plastic bag project ideas? Share them in the comments below!
Hi. These are wonderful! I’m making my own grocery tote by crocheting PLARN and saw your pretty red bag with the attractice handle design.
When I clicked on the link, the pattern was to make something out o fused plastic. Is there a link to a pattern to make the red and white crocheted tote?
Hi Sue, thanks for commenting!
We’ve updated that link to include a tutorial on how to crochet your own tote bag from plarn. Hope this helps!
Great article, very nice to see some cool home crafts that help reduce plastic recycling. Thanks for sharing, I am going to pass it on 🙂
I’m confused how do you make the round basket that has handles? I want to make some of those as laundry baskets but I don’t see the instructions. This will be my first time to make a basket out of plastic bags.
I appreciate your help and love the idea.
Hi there, thanks for reading!
This guide has great instructions for how to make a basket out of plastic bags. We hope this helps, and good luck with your project!
I didn’t want to know how to make the basket ;I wanted to know how to weave the handles into the basket. Look at the picture of the aqua/white basket shown above.
Can you show a pattern/ video on how to weave the handles into the basket ie placement. Thanks and sorry for the confusion .
We don’t have resources specific to weaving handles, but you may find these patterns for plastic bag baskets and laundry baskets to be useful. Thanks!
Thank you so much. I checked out the website and that looks very fun and helpful.
I love this is where bags from store
These are all great ideas but most people just toss them. Wouldn t it be simpler to use reusable grocery shopping bags? There are so many to choose from and very inexpensive. I haven t used the store bags in probably ten years .a good thing for the planet.
I have been making mats from the plastic bags and donating them to the homeless shelters.
That is really kind. I was also trying to make jump ropes for the homeless too!
Awww so nice of you
Do you have a video that shows how to make the mats for sleeping? I only know how to do it with a loom, which is hard to bring somewhere to work on it.
Hi, I’m Leyla, and I was wondering how you weave the jump rope into one strand. Also, how do you attach another knot to it?