Re-use Your Plastic Bags

Introduction: Re-use Your Plastic Bags

About: I dig making hemp jewelry and upcycling would-be tossed items.

There are 2 "floating landfills", that are greater in size than the U.S., out in the Pacific Ocean. The majority of their contents are plastics. Some of the plastics are large, chunky objects such as containers, etc., however, most of the plastic is shredded and is repeatedly mistaken for plankton by "filter feeders" and albatrosses. :(

I watched a PBS program awhile back chronicling the emergence of this floating landfill and how it has taken a toll on marine life. It was depressing to say the least. But there are things we can do to help slow the need for plastic bags, etc!

Simply re-using plastic bags that have "zip-loc" tops could do a lot to slow our consumption of plastics!

If you've been affected by the recession, as most of us have, you may be carrying your lunch to work, as I am. And if you carrying your lunch to work, you probably use lil'sandwich bags to separate your foods, as I do. This instructable will show you one way to slow your consumption of those and other plastic "zip-loc" type bags.

Step 1: Food Bags.

Nowadays, it's virtually impossible to buy food products that aren't housed in some type of plastic bag, which I find super annoying. And it drives me crazy to just throw them away after we've consumed their contents so I've been looking for a way to upcycle them, or at the very least, use them one more time.

I mean, every time you re-use a plastic bag, that's one more plastic bag you don't need!

Here, we have just used the last 2 tortillas from this plastic bag. The bag has a "zip-loc" seal on one end which means it can be used again to hold something else. I decided that something else would be water.

And since I take my lunch to work, I need ice to keep the food cool. But I don't like the ice just floating around in my bag soooo...I freeze water in these bags instead.

Step 2: Fill With Water.

Once you have used all the contents of the bag, give it a quick rinse. Then fill it 3/4 full with water.

Step 3: Freeze.

Try to get as much air out as possible without squirting water every where! Then seal the "zip-loc" top and place in the freezer.

Depending on what you're going to use the ice for, you can either lay it flat or stand it up in the freezer.

Step 4: Re-Use!

Once the water is frozen, place your new recycled ice bag in your cooler and go enjoy nature!

*Make sure the water is completely frozen before removing from the freezer. Partially frozen water can result in a puncture to the bag...which happened to me this morning! :)

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    My grandmother always used waxed paper to wrap sandwiches to put in grandpa's lunch pail..No bag and a thermos, so no juice box or other container.


    No matter how handy we are, and your projects are great, we have to stop sending barges out to the middle of the ocean and dumping our waste.


    12 years ago on Introduction

     Agreed! every little bit does help, a few other great uses for them in the freezer is storing mean, soup, garden veggies, berries, fruit(especially left from a party), and on.

    The frozen fruit is good thawed and put in pies!!!!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    I hate plastic bags, I used to take my sandwiches to work in cling film but now I've gone back to good old fashioned greaseproof paper, at least that will rot in the landfill. I thought the UK was bad but at least you see very few over-engineered and gratuitously wasteful ziplock bags here. When I was a boy people used to use plastic bread bags to take their sandwiches to work, at least getting one more use out of them.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    I take my sandwiches, etc. in re-usable containers like tupperware or even the containers in which food is packaged, such as butter or yogurt or hummus. I also offer a 20% discount on my jewelry for purchasers who opt for the recycled packaging. Every lil'bit helps. :)