Folding Plastic Grocery Bags

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Corie Henson, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    We used to throw away excess plastic grocery bags because it is a hassle to store it. When an uncle from the US visited us and saw the messy storage of plastic grocery bags in our cabinet, he taught us how to fold the grocery bag into a small footprint. The idea is to fold it very small, as small as a cigar.

    Here is a video that we made on how to fold the plastic grocery bag for storing. Check it out -
     
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  2. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    I just open one and stuff the rest into it. I take them to the recycle center when I go.
     
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  3. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    Good idea, Corie. I store mine that way too, Sheldon. I re-purpose plastic bags as packing material for things I sell on ebay. I just ball them up lightly and stuff them around. Beats expensive bubble rap and is clean. I rarely have one that isn't perfectly clean, and those I trash. If you send packages at Christmastime, you could save yours for that.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I save my plastic bags, too, and repurpose them. I usually do like Sheldon does, and stuff all of them into one bag when we go shopping and then unload grocery bags.
    I have found that I really enjoy using the bags combined with a strand of knitting yarn to make little throw rugs and doggie mats.
    I fold the bags into long lengthwise strips, and then use scissors to cut off about an inch at a time, which makes little loops from the bags. Next, I fasten all of the loops together and wind them into a ball, just like a yarn ball.
    Many crafters use just the plastic bags to make rugs, and even sleeping mats for homeless people; but I like adding the strand of yarn for extra color, and crochet them into a rug or a doggie mat, and even slippers.

    These rugs go right into the washer and dryer (or can just be laid out to dry), and they last forever. They seem to just get softer and softer as we use them, too.
     

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  5. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    WOW Yvonne !! Lovin' that rug! It's beautiful. How long did it take you to make the one in the photo? My sister would kill for that rug…her favorite colors…and she's very talented with creative crafts. She has 2 dogs too. Maybe she'll try that process. Nicely done Yvonne…you rock!
     
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  6. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Very Well-Known Member
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    :oops:Good idea! I just store them like Yvonne & Sheldon does. My Mom just folds them in half, fold it up in triangle shape that's flat. So like your beginning of your video, then when it's fold in half just make a triangle from the bottom to fold up into a triangle then push the handle part into triangle you just made.
     
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  7. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    That video was made with the help of my husband since he is adept with the camera and the video editing too. We used to store plastic grocery bags in a bag and it's always a mess when we need to reuse because the folding is not that neat. But when we learned this art of folding the plastic bags, you can imagine that one grocery bag can hold a hundred folded bags. It is very convenient to store used plastic grocery bags when they are neatly folded.
     
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  8. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    In Scotland, there is a small charge for carrier bags. Ireland has had a similar charge for several years now and the usage has dropped dramatically.
     
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  9. Dave Sun

    Dave Sun Well-Known Member
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    When we had our dog, I used them to pick up her poo. Now, when we get a bunch, we recycle them at our grocery store.
     
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  10. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    Crafts!
    We should tell our grocery stores to manufacture their plastic bags in PRETTY colors!

    recycled-grocery-bag-basket-pink-and-green-watermelon.jpg Recycled-plastic-bags-by-Kate-Ward.jpg Recycled-Plastic-Bag-Tote.jpeg recycled-plastic-bag-basket-1_Wg4ra_24429.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  11. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    Well, it does seem like a clever idea, but it also seems like a whole lot of work. We have a wooden container that sits in our kitchen with a lid on it. We put all our plastic bags in it that can be recycled. We don't save bags that get went or damaged in transport because these can't be used again. I know it's not a good idea to really throw these away because they do contribute to land fills but when it comes to damage ones we have no choice in the matter.
     
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  12. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    THIS would be a lot of work for a 20 minute ceremony :D All from recycled plastic bags. But, on the upside, if you spilled wine on your wedding dress at the last minute, you could just run through the sprinklers barefoot and you're good to go!

    Runaway Runway, Recycled Bridal Party with Susan Lenz.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
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  13. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Something old, something new....something re-cycled! HA!
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I use the plastic bags to store empty cat food cans in so that the trash can doesn't smell, but that's about it. In the United States, although they don't store them on top of the counter, you can ask for paper bags in the grocery store. In part because I spent twelve years of my life in a paper bag manufacturing plant, but mostly because I use them for composting, we usually get our groceries in paper sacks, then we use the paper sacks for compostables. Each morning, I bring the paper bag of compostables to the compost pile.
     
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  15. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I fold my plastic bags and store them in the tube part of the paper towels. I also store them in coffee cans and give the folded bags in chip tubes as gifts. It is a great idea to have a bag when you need one in your car without making a mess.[​IMG]
     
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  16. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    Bracelets, purses, and hats

    images-1.jpeg 301922baf312ffe3d010d6d7bc9d59d0.jpg images-2.jpeg images.jpeg d4f36401fbeb8ffc807b68491e5f3704.jpg


     
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  17. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    @Lara Moss, those are wonderful items which I believe are made of used plastic bags. Am I correct on that? We have one senator here named Cynthia Villar who has established a handicraft industry for idle housewives. One project is in weaving bags and other items made of dried water lily. The products in your picture are almost the same as the items produced by the handicraft workers of the senator. I have no aptitude in arts so all I can contribute is the folding of plastic grocery bags.
     
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  18. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    You are correct, Corrie. All items are made from used plastic trash bags…as well as these flowers:

    images-4.jpeg Unknown-1.jpeg images-3.jpeg
     
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  19. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Many people have started making sleeping mats for homeless people from the used plastic bags. They do it similarly to the way that I make the little throw rugs, except that I use a strand of yarn to add color to the rugs, and the mats are just made from the plain old bags.
    Mostly, we do not have much choice of colors from the grocery stores. They seem to think that plain brown is a good color, probably because it resembles the color of the old paper bags. Other than that, we get some white ones, and yellow from the Dollar Stores.
    I don't know where the pretty colored bags come from; but it must be from higher quality boutique shops or something similar.
    The little flowers are really pretty, @Lara Moss , and I could actually make those to look like daisies with the white and yellow bags. I will have to look for the instructions on making flowers.
    Besides the throw rugs, I have made slippers, and little can-cozies, to keep my ice water cold.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
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  20. Sarah Price

    Sarah Price Member
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    This is EXACTLY what I do as well. I am glad that stores are willing to take these for recycle. It makes me feel guilt-free when I use them at the store because really, they are just on loan. When I am done with them, I give them right back to the store.
     
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  21. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    One of many types of flower tutorials found on the net...

     
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  22. Linda Binning

    Linda Binning Well-Known Member
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    Ken, are you saying the paper bag itself can go into the compost pile and not just what is in it? If so, that is very interesting. I'll have to give it a try.
     
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  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I have large compost piles, and not a compost bin. With a compost bin, you might want to shred any paper you put in there, With a pile, I include whole boxes, and even boxes inside of boxes, filled with compostable materials. The first year that I composted, I shredded all of the paper and cardboard that I included, thinking that it would compost more quickly that way. What I found, however, was that it clumped together and took a lot longer to compost. My piles are large, and difficult to turn over, so I use a combination of heat composting (in the center) and vermi-composting (along the edges), and the paper bags, complete boxes, paper towel rolls and the like create air pockets within the pile, which aids greatly in composting. Now, I still shred much of the paper and cardboard that I add, but I also include several boxes and yes, I just place the paper bags full of compostables on the top of the pile. Within three years, except for the bits of plastic tape and other non-compostables that might accidentally find their way into my compost bins, it's all compost and I can't tell one thing from another.

    My compost is just crawling with earthworms too. There were plenty of earthworms that just found their own way into my compost but this year, for the first time, I bought about a thousand earthworms to hurry things along, with an impressive effect. I have been adding stuff to my compost pile all spring, summer and fall, yet it's at about the same level as it was once the snow and ice melted this spring.

    I'm sorry, I don't want to derail this thread, which is about plastic bags, so you can learn more about my composting in this thread, and make any compost-related replies to it there.

    On the topic of the thread, plastic grocery bags are a whole lot easier for me to carry into the house, since I'm one of those guys who likes to carry them all in one trip. However, there are so many of them, since they like to place only a few items per bag, that I can't possibly use them all, and no one around here recycles plastic bags. I'd probably have to drive three hundred miles to find a plastic recycling place.

    I'm not a huge environmentalist, yet it seems a waste to pack that many little plastic bags into the trash that I then have to transport to the transfer station, and I'm not really into making plastic flowers and such, so I usually have them place the frozen and cold stuff in their plastic grocery bags, but everything else in paper bags.

    I have a trash can downstairs that isn't used for much of anything but empty cat food cans, and since I only give them a couple of cans per day, it takes a while to fill that bag, and it really stinks by the time it's full enough to justify taking it to the transfer station. So I do use plastic bags to place the cans in before putting them into the larger plastic bag inside of the trash can. My wife got mad at me for using Cling wrap for that purpose.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  24. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Active Member
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    We have the worst and cheapest plastic grocery bags. I can not imagine that they would last through a dryer cycle because the seldom last from the trunk to the door. I have to make sure if I have cans that I tell them to use paper, otherwise something might rip loose and land on my foot!. As far as the left over bags go, I do re-use and recycle. I do the same thing as many of the others I push them all in one bag and then take them back to the store next trip. Better plastic bags or the much bigger ones I will use for garbage or to carry items. I like the heavier types of bags you get from the malls or boutique style stores, they last for awhile and I tend to use those to carry items like my lunch, books... things like that.

    Now I do have some of those heavier recycled grocery bags that you can take with you when you shop, and I like them, I use those often. I have put them in the wash and never have any problems, it is true they do get soft with time. Are those the bags you are using for the rugs? I could see that would work very well. I would be concerned with some of the dyes in some of the colored ones, but the more natural ones should be fine for craft and yarn projects. The stores here have all sorts of designs in many colors, the newest ones are Star Wars and Frozen. Not that long ago we had some Disney ones. I got a bunch of freebies when the Farms Produce market opened, I have been using those a few years now.
     
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  25. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    My first experience dealing with plastic bags came in the 1980s when I setup a small apartment inside my parents's home and I began to take care of my own expenses, what brought in may bags I used to stack in a container similar to this;
    [​IMG]
    Not rocket science really, just putting the bag into and pushing down until there was no more space for bags, so I began to fold the bags sometime in the 90s, making them small square packets to put into a kitchen's drawer.

    However folding bags carefully takes time, so I'm actually putting those bags into a soap container like this [​IMG] after rolling them this way:

     
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