DAY 4: Five Creative Reuse Ideas for Plastic Produce Bags

By Jolia Sidona Allen October 17, 2012 Categories: Bulk Buying 101 Crash Course

In Bulk Buying 101, we warned you not to toss the plastic produce bags you may have used to transport your bulk buys home. As promised, we’ve got five wise ways to reuse ‘em.

As for how to keep them clean, organic foods chef Ani Phyo suggests rinsing them with water and hanging them out to dry over a big bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, a bottle of wine, or the faucet.

1. Take ‘em to the Farmers’ Market

Next time you head out to the farmers’ market, Phyo suggests bringing your plastic produce bags along. We find they’re particularly useful for safe-keeping delicate produce such as berries, tomatoes, and herbs. There’s nothing sadder than arriving home from the farmers’ market only to find that the perfectly plump raspberries you scored have turned into raspberry jam in the bottom of your tote. To prevent this small tragedy, slip a plastic bag over your berry baskets, blow a little air in the bag, and tie a knot at the end.

2. Reuse ‘em as Shoe Bags

What’s almost as irritating as squishy produce in the bottom of your farmers’ market tote? Shoe schmutz on your vacation-wear. The solution? Phyo suggests reusing plastic bags for shoes the next time you’re packing for a trip. Who knew recycling could be so in-fashion?

3. Keep Plated Food Fresh

If you view packing up leftovers as a chore, this tip’s for you. Phyo recommends using plastic bags to cover leftovers on a plate before stashing them in the fridge. Why dirty Tupperware and yet another plate when you enjoy your leftovers later?

Planning a dinner party? You can also use your plastic bags to keep the fridge smell out of plated dishes that you plan to serve later. Less fuss, more flavor.

4. Store Fresh Herbs

As we learned in yesterday’s video, Spork Foods sisters Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel reuse plastic bags to store fresh herbs in the fridge. First, put your bouquet of herbs (such as basil, parsley, cilantro, or mint) in a cup with water as you would flowers in a vase. Then, use a plastic bag to cover the herbs. Next, give the tail of the bag a little twist, tucking it in so that’s it tight, and put the arrangement in the fridge. This will help keep herbs fresh in the fridge for about a week.

5. Reuse ‘em as Doggie & Kitty Poop Bags

OK—this is the least appetizing one, but you’ll never have to purchase pet poop bags again. Enough said.

 

Today’s discussion question: In addition to the ideas here, how do you reuse your plastic produce bags? Share below!

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comments

I use them as poop bags when I walk my yellow lab. They work great! The plastic bags from the supermarket always have holes in them but the produce and bulk bin bags never do.

April - 2012-11-05 19:01:56

The really obvious: take them back to the store and re-use for produce bags. No need to get new ones every time. I just put them back in my reusable grocery totes so I always have a supply with me.

Laura - 2012-10-17 19:57:13

#5 is exactly what I do! My family and friends save ALL their plastic bags for me and I gratefully use them when I clean my boy's litter box!!!

Sonnett - 2012-10-17 18:31:17