7 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

The recent ban on plastic bags in the Cleveland area has been a big move toward a greener city. We at Goodwill applaud those efforts!


At Cleveland area Goodwill stores, no plastic bags are used during a purchase. Instead, customers have the option of purchasing, at cost, a paper bag, purchasing a Goodwill reusable tote or using a bag from our bag share program.

What is a bag share program? Each Cleveland area Goodwill store is equipped with a bag share bin. These white bins can be found near the entrance of each store and offer customers a chance to either donate bags for others to use, or a chance for customers to use a bag free of charge.


Only two weeks into this bag share program and our bag share bins are overflowing….mostly with single-use plastic bags which have been leftover since the new legislation. Thanks for your donation!

This made us think, what other uses are there for plastic bags besides shopping at your favorite thrift store (hint, hint, nudge, urge)? Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

1. Clean up after Fido!

If you have a four-legged friend then you most likely have messes that your dog may leave on walks or in your yard, or a cat that leaves presents in the litterbox. Plastic bags are an easy cleanup method. Use plastic bags to pick up any messes in the yard, or plastic bags to line the litter pan. And, if you have extra bags to spare, leave a stack of plastic bags at your local dog park for others to use.


2. Line it!

We all have smaller wastebaskets at our home. And, we all have found that those smaller wastebaskets can get dirty very quickly. You may empty the trash out of the bin, but you oftentimes find a mess left behind. Save yourself the wastebasket clean up and line with plastic bags.

3. Car clean up.

Receipts, notes, wrappers, food crumbs. Ugh. It's enough to make your car feel like a mobile trash can. Use a small plastic bag hung over the headrest to serve as a trash collector for your vehicle.

4. Boot liners.

This may be an old-school idea, but nothing will keep your socks drier than using a plastic bag as a boot liner this winter. Trouble getting your boots on and off? Again, the plastic bag is a way for your foot to slip in and out of the boots easily.

5. Travel buddy.

Plastic bags serve a great use when you travel. Wrap items that could leak in a plastic bag before packing into your luggage. And, use plastic bags to store your shoes in. The plastic will keep any dirt or grime off the rest of your clothes in the suitcase.

6. Protect your breakables.

Shipping anything fragile? Maybe still packing away your Christmas ornaments? Plastic bags are a great packing material to keep your breakable items safe.

7. Upcycle into jewelry.

Okay, okay. Our ideas so far haven’t been groundbreaking. But, this might be the most creative idea yet! You can turn your plastic bags into jewelry! Follow these step by step instructions on how to make plastic bag flower earring!  


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