First published January 2009, updated February 2011
I was going through some of my old stuff a while back and found a bundle of photos stored in a bread bag from the bakery we owned when I was a kid – that’s over 25 years ago. It drove home the point just how long these plastics last. A quarter of a century and the plastic hadn’t deteriorated one bit.
I’m not sure if there’s been much advancement in the world of bread bags in terms of making them a little more earth friendly; so this is another area that certainly needs some improvement.
Sure, you can go to a bakery and buy full loaves wrapped in paper or make your own bread which will also cut down bag usage, but for most of us this isn’t going to be the case.
Many families would wind up with hundreds of bread bags each year. So what to do them all?
We probably can’t keep them out of the waste stream forever, but perhaps they can be used for other purposes that may prevent the use/purchase of another product. Here’s some ideas:
– For packing sandwiches
– As packing material when shipping goods
– General storage for small items
– A replacement for freezer bags
– Plastic bag crafts
– A cake icing piping bag
– Handy bags for picking up dog poop
– Liners for a benchtop kitchen tidy
– Makeshift gloves
– Punch holes in the bag and use as a seedling tube
– Car travel sick bag
– Car travel rubbish bag
– Seasoning bag; add seasoning and meat and shake
As mentioned, these ideas won’t keep the bread bags out of the waste stream, but they might take the place of something you’d otherwise buy for the tasks.
Lowering consumption of anything and everything is something we can all do to reduce our environmental impact. “Repurposing” is one of the 3R’s of going green: “Reduce, Reuse (Repurpose) and Recycle! Sometimes it’s the simple things we often overlook that give us the best opportunity for contributing to a greener planet.
Have ideas for using bread bags you’d like to contribute? Please add them below!