There are many things in my home that I would be embarrassed to show family, friends or strangers. But first on that list is our store of plastic bags in the kitchen cabinet under the sink. Despite best intentions, we accumulate too many – a horrific amount. Why? (It is not because we don’t have plenty of reusable bags. I even have a really cute Wilco one that came free with a CD purchase with a great, super-long handle.)

(list 10) Reasons We Have Too Many Plastic Bags

  1. We seem to forget more than remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery store.
  2. I never even think to bring reusable bags to stores other than grocery stores, and all those stores put stuff in plastic bags.
  3. Everything is put in plastic bags! Even when you go to the city market and have a bag to put stuff in, the vendors generally wrap stuff in a plastic bag, if you don’t keep an eye on them. If you buy even just one thing, even something with a carrying handle, like a purse, they put it in a plastic bag.

So here are my ideas of how to reduce and reuse the number of plastic bags that you consume. I hope you find at least one useful. If you need convincing that you should be reducing the number of plastic bags consumed, read here.

(list 11) Ways To Reduce The Number of Plastic Bags

  1. Use them for crafts! Craftzine has some great ideas here. My favorite being making fused plastic bag fabric to make reusable bags. Tres chic recursion, Batman! I am going to try to make one this weekend – I will post the results – good or bad.
  2. Obtain some reusable bags and leave them in the car. (And return them to the car after you have unloaded the shopping.) Per my friend Chris (who gave his whole family reusable bags for Christmas last year), the best ones out there are available at local Price Chopper stores – only $0.99 and they hold a whole lot of stuff. Pryde’s in Kansas City also has cute reusable string and canvas bags. And, of course, Etsy has tons that are so adorable to induce squealing. Finally, there are lots of reusable bags and scary facts about plastic bags at
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask a cashier to not put something in a bag.
  4. Recycle your existing plastic bags. In the Kansas City metro area, per, plastic bags can be recycled at Hy-Vees, Price-Choppers, and Hen Houses. Most community recycling centers do not accept plastic bags, other than newspaper sleeves.
  5. Move to Europe. Reusable bags seem to be the norm there. I found that out the hard way in Paris, when I bought some groceries and then had to carry my groceries in my arms back to the hotel when my biodegradable plastic bag (that the cashier grudgingly gave me) gave way.
  6. Buy less stuff.

I hope you use one less! (Oh, and the answer isn’t paper.)


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