It’s no secret that plastic pollution is a gargantuan problem, and to address that, many have started to invest in reusable products to replace single-use plastic. However, as much as we try to avoid it, the reality is that at some point, we may still have to deal with it. Plus, those who are just starting their zero-waste journey will likely have some plastic floating around from their plastic-using past or are still in the “cutting back” stage of eliminating plastic from their lives. If this sounds like you, then here are a few clever money-saving ways that you can re-use the plastic you already have.
As freezer bags
If you buy frozen products that come in resealable bags, then just hang on to those instead of buying new freezer bags. Wash out the frozen produce bags and use them for whatever you need. Some of them are even big enough to fit a whole loaf of bread.
As garbage bags
Large plastic grocery bags are often found lining the bathroom trash can, but you shouldn’t overlook those smaller plastic bags. Use plastic bread bags, milk bags, or flimsy produce bags you get at the grocery store for scooping up your dog’s poop or to line your compost bin.
As colanders and food containers
Do you know those small plastic boxes that you often buy strawberries and blueberries in? Those can be handy containers to wash more fruit in or to carry easily bruised fruit like peaches and plums for when you feel like enjoying a summery picnic.
As bag clips and twist ties
You may be familiar with the bread tags or twist ties that come with your loaf of bread. Instead of chucking them out when your loaf has been eaten up, save them to keep other tasty treats fresh for longer, especially if you don’t already have your own bag clips.
To pack a picnic
Instead of tossing your used, almost empty salad dressing or condiment bottles, give them a good wash, and voila! You have a handy container to store your own homemade salad dressings, sauces, hummus, or other yummy dips. Fortunately, most of these bottles are PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, which is safer to reuse than some other plastics.
As food storage
Your empty yogurt tubs aren’t the best to pack your microwaveable lunch in, but you can still use them to keep everything organized in your kitchen. Use them to stock up on snacks like nuts and dehydrated berries or save last night’s leftovers in them to be poured into a microwave-safe bowl and heated up later. You can even use them for storing miscellaneous household items like batteries or office supplies.