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Topic: Recycle plastic supermarket bags

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Subject: Recycle plastic supermarket bags
Date Posted: 12/24/2008 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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Although I use bubble padded mailing envelopes now (I buy them by the carton on Ebay and they're VERY reasonable) what I used to do is save money and recycle at the same time by using plastic grocery bags. I'd cut them to fit the book, wrap it in that plastic wrap and then the PBS wrapper. Doesn't cost an extra penny and your book always arrives in good condition!

Date Posted: 12/24/2008 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 12:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/29/2008 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2006
Posts: 3,119
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What a great idea about the plastic bags. We can throw our plastic bags into our recycling, but I like the idea of reuse.

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,703
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I use them for that, for cleaning out the litter box, for lining the bathroom trash can, and when the school has any shopping events (like the book fair or Santa shop), I take them there.  We keep them in the car for trash and for throw up incidents too.

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I've managed to avoid most plastic grocery bags by using cloth, but our newspaper comes in a plastic bag a lot of the time.  I tend to use those for shipping books -- they are about the right size to just drop the books in.  Sunday paper bags work for bigger books!

This is a good reminder to me, though--I want to bag up all the silly rubber bands from non-bagged days and give them back to the paperboy.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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I don't consider using a plastic grocery bag as a good way of reuse.  Ever see that pic of the "plastic bag island" in the Pacific Ocean that is as big as Texas?  Scary.  Also, dropping off plastic bags at your local grocery store is great - but often from there they're either not recycled, or just burned in third world countries with more lax environmental laws. 

Use bread bags or as Kayote suggested, newspaper bags.  Or cereal or chips/pretzels/etc. bags cleaned out.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I use them when packing a box to send to someone as filler....lightweight and gets them out of my house.

however, I try to bring fewer and fewer into the house.  hubby misses the paper bags for the newspaper but I keep telling him they don't have to be in a bag to go into the recycling bin!

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 1,033
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'For those of you who crochet or want to learn how, there are several sites online that show you how to cut the plastic bags into strips and crochet them together to make really strong reusable bags.  Here is one of the links  http://www.needlepointers.com/ShowArticles.aspx?NavID=593  .  It's really easy and fun to do.  Or send em to me and I'll make the bag for you!!  :-)


Date Posted: 12/31/2008 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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If you do use grocery bags to wrap books: If you don't need to tape it to make it stay on, please don't.

If the bag is taped it basically is garbage when it gets to the other side.  If it is just wrapped around & held in place either by the handles around the book or by the outer wrapping then it can be reused.

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 6,638
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 6:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: another use for cereal box liners
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2007
Posts: 26
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I use the plastic bag/liners in cereal boxes - the food packaging can be used nicely to wrap books in for mailing.  I find that the plastic is thicker than most grocery bags (which I am trying to eliminate from getting).  Washing the plastic is simple - just warm soapy water, hang to dry. 

I have not had any  problems with using it for mailing.

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2008
Posts: 26,635
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I never realized how many plastic bags were coming into my house until I started keeping them to make

plarn to crochet projects!  They seem to be growing out of the walls.  Makes you notice.

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Be careful when using food bags because some people have food allergies Like if you use a cereal bag that had nuts in it you might set off an attack unknowingly.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2006
Posts: 5
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Your local Goodwill or St. Vincents or similar donate/sell organization will be delighted to re-use your plastic grocery bags for items that they sell....  and, yes, this might just be passing the problem along, but think...  if one bag is used 3 times that is two new plastic bags not entering the local dump.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/15/2007
Posts: 1,037
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I wrap books with them, collect them for a local church that uses them to distribute food, and I have taken them back to the Walmart. I take all my bags there even if I didn't get them there. I think they are shooting for 2010 to be plastic bag free. I think they are going to use the reusable shopping bags instead. ( not confirmed, cashiers have mentioned it) I hope so. I don't like going there that often, but it is 5 miles from my house verses 20 miles to the farmers market. If I need something that I haven't planned for I go there.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2008
Posts: 1
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We use newspaper bags primarily for animal waste - they are the perfect size for walks or going to the park.  Shopping bags are often used for stuffing when shipping, keeping holiday decorations clean, storing/covering seldom used cookware and other things, liners when working on plumbing or other messy repairs, reused when shopping, keeping things dry when (or if) it rains, to cover young plants as a makeshift hothouse and many other things.  My dad even uses one when working under the house or car to keep his head clean. 

When we get too many, we send them to the thrift store with gently used clothes, etc.  Family motto:  recycle, reuse, make do or do without.

Subject: Plastic Bags
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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I try to use cloth bags for groceries, but my husband and children do not, and they end up shopping often, sooo . . .  we end up with many bags :-(

I do re-use them. We use them for lining some trash cans, for wrapping books, for stuffing around items being mailed, etc, for packaging Christmas decorations and other storage items, for carrying things to places, for stuffing moles (My daughter sewed a fabric mole, making it 6.25 feet long. She stuffed it with plastic bags. We were searching all over town for extra bags, and did end up with getting many. The library gave us quite a few, as they get them for books on rainy days. (People drop off the bags for patrons to use) My daughter and her whole class enjoyed the mole, on Mole Day.)

I was able to buy one of the crocheted bags made from WalMart bags at a garage sale, and I lined it and now use it as my summer purse. I want to make my own purse, and someone mentioned making rugs - I want to do that, too.

I would really prefer using cloth bags when needed, and I am working on it.

Subject: Recycled Bags?
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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I have seen in stores items that are made from the recycled bags. Our local Albertsons had a bench for customers siiting by the door. There was a plaque on the bench stating that it was made from bags recycled by customers. I'm sure if we look around we can find many other items made from recycled bags.

Subject: Going bagless...
Date Posted: 2/17/2009 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 8
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My local grocery chain was asking how they could help with the problem of forgetting to take in your reusable bags - I have lately been discipling myself to park my cart full of groceries and going back out to the car to get them! arrrggghhh I need the walk - anyway. I want to get use to using them 100%. I was in CA last week and learned that San Francisco has already banned them for everyone. This is kind of fun to watch. And those inexpensive reusable ones stand up and don't spill my groceries anyway.
Subject: Plastic
Date Posted: 3/4/2009 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 1,707
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I save every plastic wrapper (from magazines, stationary, cards, whatever to use to cover my books before the PBS wrapper.  They usually fit with little cutting and cost nothing.  I try to recycle or reuse everything at least once.  My plastic groc bags are for cat litter.

Date Posted: 4/12/2009 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
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my friend mom was here the other day i had some plastic bag with stuff i bought walmart so she said could i put your stuff away out of bag well she did and i said did you want bag she said yeah that why i took all stuff out. so funny.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I'm doing pretty well on remembering the bags.  Fortunately I tend to shop with my SO so if we forget the bags in the car one of us keeps shopping the other goes out to get them.  My problem is remembering to take them back out to the car when we are done--but getting better at that also, since I figured out where to hang them in the way. :)

Reducing use is more important than recycling.   I wish this country would put as much time into encouraging reduction as it does into encouraging recycling.

I'm experimenting with not lining most of our garbage cans.  Most of them don't have anything thrown in that needs a bag.   Some, obviously it's a good thing (such as the kitchen).  The office?  I think it's cleaner now than it was with a plastic bag, because I turn it upside down to empty so the dust that gathered in the bottom doesn't anymore. 

Still need one when we're fostering cats for the litter. Probably could use a heavy cloth bag (then wash it w/the rags), but my SO would never go for it--and the garbage men would be ticked at a container of unbagged litter.

I figure when/if we run out of plastic bags (2 large bags in the garage still) I will just pull them out of the recycling container at the grocery store if I need them.   It's so much easier to carry groceries in the cloth ones I have no interest in switching back!

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I pre-wrap my books with a recycled plastic grocery store bag.  I usually cut it to size and tape around the book.  I never considered how that would make  the bag trash instead of an item that could be reused by the recipient.  Next time I'll try leaving tha bag whole.

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 340
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I reuse plastic bags too, both for wrapping books and for jobs around the house like cleaning the cat litter and lining waste paper baskets. If they are too holey to use for anything, then I take them to a store to be recycled. Sometimes, I actually run out of plastic bags now because I always use canvas  for my groceries and I often refuse a bag if I buy something small.

Date Posted: 8/17/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2009
Posts: 20
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I line the bathroom garbage cans with the plastic bags, then when they are full, they go out to our burn pit.  We burn all paper-type garbage from the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen.  Food garbage too, except what is compostable.  Everything else is recycled.  I also drop off excess plastic bags at St Vinnies. They need them when they re-sell items.  I am going to start using cloth bags for groceries, just gotta remember to take them with me!