How can I reuse or recycle bulk building material bags?

bulk building materials bagWe’ve had an email from Andrew Whittington:

These are the industrial carrying bags, usually made from a plastic woven material with four strong carrying handles for a crane or fork lift truck to move large quantities of building materials such as sand and stone. These are being seen more and more delivered to domestic homes, and are seen as a disposable item and the companies are not interested in having them back.

At the moment I have one in the garden and i’m using it as a tempory compost bin until I can make my own, however the plastic is starting to rot into tiny pieces, any other ideas what I can do with it?

I’ve been seeing these about more and more too and would probably go for the compost thing or using the material for hanging basket (etc) lining – but I’m sure the latter doesn’t make best use of the bags and would probably have the same rotting problem. So any ideas?

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11 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle bulk building material bags?”

  1. Malva says:

    With a pretty heavy needle and a sewing machine, you could make purses, messenger bags or shopping bags.

  2. Covers for garden furniture?

    Make a lining for the boot of your car?

  3. Katz says:

    If you cut them up in strips – you can use it as a weed suppression thing in your garden or allotment.

  4. Well, if the plastic is rotting, it’s obviously degradable plastic that they use for those bags, therefore, sutible for composting.

  5. Ali Abbas says:

    The brand Freitag make bags from lorry tarpauling, each bag is hence different. You could easily do the same with building sacks.
    They could also be filled and used for insulation in walls, or stitched together and used as a canopy material.

    Any ideas, post them on an ace re-use community

  6. Dan says:

    Ah Ha! Myself and my dad came up with a great idea for these. Instead of buying bags to collect garden waste, we simply fill one of these, haul it to the back of the car and lift. Its so easy when we get to the tip for the garden waste recycling skip, we simply back the car up, open the boot and push it in! Lifting it up together leaves a nice compacted cube of grass cuttings and a clean car boot! Plus, it can be used over and over again. We also use them for composting, they’re a lot more enviro-friendly than those plastic tubs people buy!

  7. renee says:

    weed mats!

  8. Ati Minchev says:

    Flood control ( sand bags )

  9. Rolf says:

    I am willing to use them as raised beds and weed supressors at the same time removing the top soil of the allotment digging them half in and filling the ways in between with worever is left as weed supressor an covering with wood chipping or bark. That way you will have the support of the bag for the raised bed and a clean weed free allotment.

  10. Clive Peaple says:

    Cut out a small ‘letter box’ in the base then use for grass mowings, ditto but stand on pallet wrapped in old heavy duty plastic, collect liquid fertiliser from base (1:10 with water). Invert and use as protection for concrete mixers (the straps loop over the handles). Actually we only use lime mortar so ours is a lime mixer! In general stack on old plastic protected pallets for greater longevity. Car boot liner is great idea – thanks! Double them over as a really safe (and officially approved) way to transport stable asbestos to the tip.

  11. Ron Coleman says:

    I use the big bags to collect moss scarified from my lawn (this will not break down on my compost heaps) to take to our local recycling centre. I usually add cuttings from my berberis hedge (with severely sharp thorns) wrapped inside the moss.

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