Plastic Bags are 100 percent Reusable

Plastic bags can be reused again and again.

Plastic bags aren't just 100 percent recyclable — they're 100 percent reusable too! More than 90 percent of Americans reuse their plastic bags at least once, for everything from storage to waste disposal and packing material.1 If you're interested in some new ways to use your plastic bags, check out our list below.


Here’s how a few people across the country reuse their plastic and paper bags:

  • Because I make compost for my garden, I put my kitchen scraps into the plastic bags. When full, I empty them into my compost bin and then recycle the bag. – Angela O. from Minnesota

  • We give our plastic bags to the local food pantry...they are in a great need of them. – Joseph B. from Maine 

  • I double them up and cover my bird houses for the winter. – Jerry R. from Oregon

  • I always start Christmas shopping for everybody in July. I reuse my plastic bags to place those bought items in, and mark the recipient's name on the outside of the bag with a black marker! Then I just dump the items from the plastic bag into their Christmas stocking...easy! – Judith D. from California

  • I have used plastic bags for so many things. Crocheted door mats, Easter baskets, made wreaths out of them, used them for package stuffing. I have also used them in the winter to keep air from coming in around the doors and windows! – Doris S. from Maryland

  • I save them for my son who uses them to store paint brushes overnight on the job. That way he doesn't have to clean out his brushes twice. I flatten them out and roll them up; then they can fit into an empty can and can be pulled out from the center like those disposable wipes. – Berenice B. from Illinois

  • I volunteer at a local charity and food bank, and we never have a sufficient number of plastic bags donated by local grocery stores. However, my friends and family save the excess bags they cannot use, and I take them to the food bank for packaging of groceries distributed to the low-income families we serve... No matter the size or type of plastic bag, we can always find a way to reuse them. – ​Julie B. from Colorado

Looking for other unique ways to reuse plastic bags? You can start by learning to make "Plarn." (Short for plastic yarn, of course.) Click here for our 10 simple steps to make Plarn. 

1. APCO Insight, “National Plastic Shopping Bag Recycling Signage Testing,” March 2007. 

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