How can I reuse or recycle bread bags?

I can’t believe we’ve not featured this already. We’ve covered stale bread, bread bag tags, how to make a bread bin recycling old stuff, and what to do with an old bread machine pan but not the bags that pre-sliced loaves come in.

Most pre-wrapped loaves (in the UK at least) come in LDPE bags – low-density polyethylene, ie, plastic number 4. They can be doorstep recycled in some places (check your local guidelines) and can be included with carrier bags at some collection spots.

But how can they be reused first? The most simple reuse is, of course, as a sandwich bag – but anything more interesting or creative?

(Photo by Richard George)

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20 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle bread bags?”


  1. Sam says:

    I’ve cut them up into strips and crocheted them into a string bag.

    • frangipan says:

      Hi I really love that idea, do you make them to sell by any chance as I’d be interested in having one.
      My email address is flhdaniels@gmail.com if you would be interested in making more, also I could send you our bread bags if you would like.
      Kind Regards

  2. Simon says:

    I know you’re really looking for more reuse ideas but just to note that in addition to doorstep recycling, Tescos and other supermarkets do collection of these in their foyers and via their delivery vans.

  3. louisa says:

    We like reuses but we like recycling advice too – thanks Simon :)

  4. Alice says:

    I keep half the loaf in the bag in my fridge, and use another one to freeze the other half of the loaf in. Avoids wasting bread as I live on my own and don’t get through a whole loaf in time otherwise.

  5. Kara says:

    http://etsylabs.blogspot.com/2007/05/long-overdue-fusing-plastic-bag.html
    LDPE fuses nicely into a plastic “fabric” for all sorts of uses. Mom even made a marker/crayon roll with a fused plastic sheet and her mini iron!

  6. HuntingWabbits says:

    Slightly ghetto, but sometimes when you’re packing a lunch and use the last slice in the bag, you can use the bag as a sandwich baggie. =P

  7. 9412valve says:

    I use them for picking up my dogs poop.

  8. Bobbie says:

    I have 4 cats that come in at night because of coyotes and so they have a, ugh, litter box. I use the bags for the scooped litter. I also use the bags for storing chicken scraps in the fridge for my chickens. They are very useful for all sorts of reuses.

  9. Ruby Re-Usable makes ART with plastic bread bags: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubyreusable/sets/72157605981763242/

    these are all made using Wonder Bread plastic bags (my sons eat the bread, and I save the bags to make sculptures; they are stuffed with used bubble wrap from downtown businesses)

  10. Nicole says:

    I’ve used them to store chicken carcasses until I’m ready to make broth

  11. Tom says:

    I just managed to re-use a bread bag four times before it went in the bin. See here: http://tomthebadger.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/re-use-record/
    :o)

  12. I reuse bread bags several times over – for sandwich bags & then temporary storage for stuff about to be composted – till they’re worn out – but I’ve been reading the suggestions and am still at a loss at to recycling them. Problem is they seem to accumulate if you buy bread in wrappers so there’s too many to re-use – my black bag (the one that goes to landfill) is now composed entirely of these and similar wrappers as I’ve found ways of recycling practically everything else. The result is two bags a year for landfill (compressed, they don’t take up that much space), but wouldn’t it be great if one could achieve 100% recycling?!

  13. Suzie says:

    I cut into long strips and crochet them into round rugs. They last a long time and can be washed in the machine. Make nice gifts. Also bazzar idea, sells well.

  14. Olia says:

    Use round Oatmeal box or similar box as small trash can and line it with bread bags.

  15. Bruce Squiers says:

    Through trial and error, I’ve learned that empty bread wrappers are great for general food storage in place of a roll of plastic wrapping. They’re easier to use, and I typically use them to re -wrap partially opened meat, or to seal items in the freezer. Handy, cheap and effective always works for me!

  16. supergeeky says:

    I frequently use them when packing my honey’s lunch for things like muffins, breads, corn bread etc. I also use them when bringing things to parties or storing things in the fridge. I also use them to store scraps in the freezer for making broth.



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