How to Store Plastic Grocery Bags


Every year 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide. The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store. With so many plastic shopping bags going around, a typical household needs to create a handy storage container and go-to place for them. According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, if each person in New York City alone threw out one less plastic grocery bag per year it would reduce waste by five million pounds and save $250,000 in disposal costs.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic soda bottle
  • Scissors
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Gather all of your plastic shopping bags. Sort through them and remove the ones that are torn or have holes. You want to create a storage area for reusable bags, so it's best to recycle the ones you cannot reuse. Empty the bags, making sure there are no receipts or other items in them.

  • Take a large empty plastic soda bottle, clean it and remove the cap. Using scissors or a knife, cut off the bottom end at an angle. The angle must be big enough to allow you to screw the long end of the bottle to a wall.

  • Select a location to install your shopping bag holder. Find a convenient spot where it will be handy to have plastic bags within reach, such as in a kitchen pantry or an entrance way.

  • Turn the bottle upside down. Position your container at a convenient height -- you will be removing the bags from the cap end of the bottle. Screw the long end of the wide mouth with two screws, spread about two inches apart.

  • Fill the storage container with plastic bags. Insert the bags through the wide mouth end of the container. Compact them and squish out all of the air in them to pack more into the container.

  • To select a plastic bag reach in from the narrow end of the container at the bottom.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can reuse the plastic bags for garbage, to carry groceries or a lunch.
  • You can also use an old facial tissue box to store plastic bags. This is a good storage container to store plastic shopping bags in a vehicle.
  • You can use plastic shopping bags to wrap fragile objects when you ship them.
  • Plastic bags are hazardous -- they can suffocate a child. Children should not be left unattended with plastic bags.

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  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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