Out of 195 countries worldwide, 77 countries instituted a partial or entire ban on plastic bags. This means that people are using reusable bags more than ever because of the increased environmental consciousness.
In the United States, nine of the 50 states have banned plastic bags. These states include Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, and Maine. New Jersey was the state to have most recently banned single-use plastic bags as of May 4, 2022.
Hence, about 40% of the world is leaving behind plastic bags to utilize reusable bags instead. When you get a large collection of reusable bags, there are many things you can do with them besides taking them with you on your grocery shopping trips.
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1. Use Them as Gift Bags
Instead of spending money on getting a gift bag for a birthday or other holiday, use a reusable bag instead. Fill it with tissue paper and the gifts! It’s not about the bag that a gift comes in, but the thoughtfulness put into the present.
This is a great way to give away some reusable bags if you have too many. Turning reusable bags into gift bags is cost-effective, creative, and useful for the gift recipient. Rather than waiting until the next holiday or birthday to pass off a traditional gift bag, the gift recipient can utilize the reusable bag for their shopping endeavors.
2. Bag Up Food Donations Using Reusable Bags
If you are donating food, especially during the holiday season when food banks need the most help, send your food donations in reusable bags. The food bank can distribute reusable bags along with the food to families in need.
Food bank beneficiaries will not only get the food they need for survival, but they can also receive a few reusable bags for when they go grocery shopping thanks to your generous donation!
3. Pack An Emergency Kit in a Reusable Bag to Keep in Your Car
You never know what you might need in an emergency while you are on the road. Use a couple of jumbo-sized reusable bags for this project.
For fall and winter, keep things like a blanket, de-icer formula, a windshield scraper, and an extra outfit for each family member in case your car breaks down. Stock in some bottles of water and packaged snacks to keep satiated until help arrives.
For spring and summer, bring a cooler with enough water bottles for everyone. Be sure to take it inside at the end of the day to protect the water temperature. In your jumbo reusable bag, keep extra outfits, towels (for beach days), sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for sun protection.
As always, don’t forget to have a jumper cable, portable tire pump, and extra tire in your trunk. You never know when your car may need a jump, a new tire, or tires pumped up.
4. Utilize Reusable Bags for Storage
If you have seasonal decorations, old papers, or other lightweight items to store, utilize reusable bags for storage. They are great for categorizing different items you have when storing things away.
When you store things away for the season, it can make packing them up easier. Use reusable bags for knick-knacks, window cling decorations, and so on.
If you have old papers that need organizing and do not have a filing cabinet, a tote with some reusable bags does the trick! Categorize each type of paper such as old bills, college papers, and so on, file each paper into a reusable bag, and stack them up in a tote for easy storage.
With the influx of reusable bags because of plastic bag bans, you may be overwhelmed with what you can do to get rid of or repurpose them. Get creative and you will find a solution!