Plastic is something that has a huge presence in our life, much more than we’d care to admit. It’s there in our bathroom, our kitchen, our kids’ playroom – it’s everywhere. And to think that most of the homes in the world have that much plastic – honestly, it’s frightening. A good deal of the plastic in our homes is likely to be in the form of plastic bags, the kind we get from supermarkets and stores. While they may seem convenient for the time being, they’re a huge hazard for the future of our planet. Here are some facts that show us how big the problem really is:
- 160,000 plastic bags are used every second
- 5 trillion plastic bags are produced every year
- 22 kg of plastic was found in a single dead whale’s stomach
- It takes 1000 years for a plastic bag to break down completely
Grim, isn’t it? But we can still reverse the situation. To begin with, stop bringing home plastic, and take your own bags when out and about. As for the plastic that is already home, here are 10 amazing ways to reuse plastic bags and prevent them from ending up in landfills and the oceans.
10 Amazing Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags
1. Line your garbage bins with plastic bags. It makes it so much easier to keep your garbage bins clean than tossing in the trash directly. You can also use this principle for pets – line their tubs with plastic bags.
2. If you’ve got shelves made of unfinished wood or you want to store messy products, use plastic bags. Cut them, open them up and line your shelves. You can also use pretty ones as drawer liners.
3. The ‘beans’ that are used to stuff bean bags are harmful for the environment, and since they’re so light, they reach everywhere. Instead, use all your leftover plastic bags to stuff them.
4. Similarly, packing peanuts made of Styrofoam aren’t exactly eco-friendly either. Scrunched up plastic bags are good enough as packing material and can be reused again and again.
5. There are many crafts that can be made with plastic bags – use your creativity or scour the internet for ideas! You can make kids crafts or even try out some DIY decor.
6. If you have kids at home, it’s quite likely that you have messy projects that involve paints, play dough, mud and what not! You can save time and water cleaning up by spreading out large plastic bags after cutting them open.
7. Plastic bags can be pretty handy when you’re travelling. You can use it to line suitcases, or separate clean clothes from soiled ones. They can also carry wet clothes from the pool or a wet umbrella once you’re indoors.
8. Got lots of bags from the supermarket? Take them back! Reuse a supermarket’s bags by taking them back when you’re going to shop again. They’re usually sturdy enough to hold heavy groceries and will be perfect!
9. Apparently, you can even turn plastic bags into yarn, called ‘plarn’. This can then be used to weave or knit as you would with regular yarn – only this one’s free and the results will be unique!
10. Plastic bags also make great makeshift gloves, especially when you’re dealing with messy stuff like dirt in the garden, kitty litter or anything else. When you have kids, there are bound to be many opportunities for it!
With so many ways to use plastic bags around the home, you can be sure that you’re helping the environment without just throwing or burning them. Your kids also learn about the value of reusing and recycling – and that is a valuable lesson we can teach the next generation. After all, they’re the ones who stand to inherit our planet!