How to Reuse Plastic Bags by Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC

Check out this post from Piedmont Earth Day Fair Sponsor Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. 
Implementing these innovative, environmentally friendly strategies is a wonderful way to contribute to recyling efforts from home. 
 Single-use plastics are everywhere - food packaging, straws, cutlery, water bottles, and the list goes on and on. It's no wonder about 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment every year. However, plastic shopping bags are one “single use” item that actually can be repurposed. Even if you have a stash of reusable tote bags for shopping, you undoubtedly end up with a small collection of plastic shopping bags at home. Here are a few ideas to help you extend the life of plastic shopping bags:  
Repurpose for Waste Removal
One of the easiest ways to reuse plastic bags in day-to-day life is in managing waste. Plastic grocery bags are usually the perfect size to line your bathroom trash cans. You can also use them in your kitchen for non-compostable food scraps while cooking or when you’re cleaning out your refrigerator. Doing this will keep the smell of your food scraps from seeping out of your trash can. Plastic bags are also perfect for disposing of pet waste and can make your life a little easier whether you're a dog or cat person. Take them with you on walks to clean up after your dogs, or use them to line your litter box for easy clean up.
Make Plarn
It's plastic. It's yarn. It's plarn! And it's perfect for all your crochet, knitting, and weaving projects. It's pretty easy to make; just cut your plastic bags into strips, tie them together with a tight knot, and roll them in a ball for your next project. Use your plarn to make reusable shopping totes, yoga mats, baskets, and anything else your crafty heart desires. Here's a video tutorial to help you get started.
Plastic bags make an excellent storage solution. Use them to defrost meats in your refrigerator, avoiding a nasty mess and the potential for cross-contamination. If you're moving or storing fragile items, plastic bags make an excellent replacement for packing peanuts and bubble wrap. You can easily wrap fragile items with multiple plastic bags or just stuff them in between to create the perfect cushion. If you're traveling, use your plastic bags to separate dirty clothes and shoes from your clean clothes. You can also use them to store toiletries that might spill while traveling.

Even the smallest steps have a big impact. Americans use about 14 billion bags each year. Even though they're made to be a single-use plastic, the reality is that your bags have much more use left in them when you bring them home. We hope you consider incorporating one of these ideas into your daily life. 

As for Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, we've committed to going plastic-free in all our stores starting on Earth Day, Monday, April 22. If you're shopping at one of our 51 locations across northwest North Carolina after Earth Day, you'll need to bring your own bag to pack your items. We will also start selling reusable totes for any Goodwill superfans who want to share their love of Goodwill with the world on all their grocery runs and shopping trips. To find a Goodwill location near you, visit