Tips for re-using plastic bags

Clean Up Australia estimates that we use a whopping four billion plastic bags each year. Sadly, most of those end up in landfill or the ocean, where they kill seabirds and marine life in staggering numbers.

Plastic bags can be recycled at participating Coles or Woolworths supermarkets. Keep them out of your recycling bin. 

Here are some ways to extend the life of a plastic bag:

  • Use them as stuffing: on any occasion that you were going to use Styrofoam, substitute plastic bags instead for less mess.
  • Use them as filler for pot plants - this means less soil, and makes pots lighter to lift.
  • Place a shopping bag over the lid before you seal a paint tin - it will stop flakes of dried paint getting into the can.
  • Place unripe peaches, plums, or green tomatoes in a bag - the closed bag traps ethylene, the natural gas released by the ripening fruit (while still allowing a little ventilation), which helps it ripen faster.
  • When you’re working the garden, try wrapping some plastic bags around your knees to not only keep them dry and clean, but also provide a little extra cushiony comfort
  • Painting a large room and need to take a break? Wrap your paint brushes and rollers in plastic bags to keep them from drying out so fast.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 17 February 2021