How can I reuse or recycle plastic food wrapping/bags?

plastic food bagWe’ve had an email from Fiona, saying:

We eat a lot of dried fruit, nuts and seeds and, when we’re in a jam/marmalade/chutney making mood, a lot of sugar too. Which means we have a lot of empty plastic food bags.

Would love to know how to re-use or recycle these.

I would love to know how to re-use or recycle them too – I suspect those type of bags make up the bulk of our to-landfill waste at the moment.

I saw some storage boxes/baskets made from old chocolate bar wrappers at a cool hippy shop the other week and I’m thinking of giving that a go with these type of bags and other wrappers once I finished The Great Can Weaving Project of 2008 (don’t ask) – I’ll post on how that turns out if/when it turns out.

But what about other ideas?

(Photo by sritenou – and if you’re interested in pistachios, check out the post that started this whole website nearly two years ago :) )

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21 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic food wrapping/bags?”

  1. Malva says:

    I just wash and reuse all the small bags that come in our house. Over and over. I especially like the ones that are resealable. We almost never buy disposable Ziploc bags anymore.

  2. Canadian says:

    Search out sources of these products that come in different packaging or can be bought in bulk.

    Dried fruit and nuts can often be bought in bulk — bring your own container.

    The white sugar that is sold here comes in paper bags (Redpath sugar in 1 kg or 2 kg bags — that’s what I use for jam) — perhaps look if there are any companies where you live that sell it like that.

  3. Tamara says:

    i don’t know about weaving specifically, but you can make them into yarn.

  4. Tamara says:

    ugh, i meant to put this on there…
    if it will work? i’m not good at this stuff…

    Plastic Bag Crochet – CRAFT Vide…
    Added: 2 months ago
    Views: 28,369

    128 ratings

  5. Tamara says:

    i give up.
    crocheted plastic bags…

    that’s how you get to a tutorial.

  6. wildflower says:

    Buy in bulk and reuse all existing bags!

  7. rani says:

    I’d suggest you reduce your consumption of these first (see previous), but in the meantime, or when you buy in bulk or from bins, you can also reseal small amounts of whatever you need in bags by heating the cut edge carefully with heat. The thicker one should also be sew-able.

  8. carrie says:

    my loving husband bought me a food saver – it’s GREAT for resealing potato chip/snack bags, so now i use his chip bags to package my own homemade snack chips or small portions of nuts that i buy in bulk. great for throwing into lunches. you could also cut them into strips, braid them, and make into bowls or braided rugs.

  9. Leah says:

    not sure if this is strictly recycling . . . but back when I used to live by myself, I dedicated a drawer to these sorts of packages. I always opened the packages carefully to make them still functional. Then, I used the packages as containers for garbage. I lived by myself for four months and didn’t buy a single garbage bag. I either used food wrapping or produce wrapping. It’s only one reuse, but I figure it was better than throwing plastic into a plastic garbage bag to throw in the trash.

  10. Jennifer says:

    If there are no holes, they make good “mitts” for picking up pet poop on walks.

  11. Gulia says:

    While carrying in a purse some peculiar hygiene items, it is better to hide them inside such package left from something else, like a snack. The design will camouflage them and zipper will keep them inside. That way no one will ever see those items accidentally, when you reach for your valet, or if your purse falls open and everything scatters.

  12. Daizzy says:

    We bulk buy a wholefood order in the UK from Suma. Everything (nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc. comes in individual massive, thick plastic bags.

    Can you recycle them?

  13. Lizzy says:

    if it’s some of that shiny-on-the-inside packaging – for big bars of chocolate and some larger crisp/snack packets etc. you could make radiator reflective panels if you got enough and stuck it down on some sturdy cardboard…but I have just received a lovely big bar of belgian chocolate so I would love to hear more ideas =D

  14. Olia says:

    Store out of season socks in them, or gentle items, say penthouse, tides, silky bras which can get ruined by being shuffled in the drawer.

  15. Alice says:

    Use them to throw away dirty diapers, used pads. Zipper will keep away odors.

  16. Olia says:

    You can cut them in stripes and when you gather plenty, fill with them a throw pillow for the children.

  17. Gulia says:

    If it is ziplock bag, cut out the zipper and sew it to a fabric pouch to store anything.

  18. Uluska says:

    Punch halls so package can go into a binder. Store cards, fabric scraps, scrapbooking material. Zipper will keep items inside.

  19. Oksana says:

    Good for keeping dirty brush from drying up while you are waiting for a first layer of paint to dry. Just zip that zipper.

  20. Oksana says:

    Use small ones, decorate them, fill with treats and hang on Christmas tree.

  21. Julia says:

    Staple or glue one side of the package onto a message board. You’ll get instant pocket for cards, notes, etc.

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