9 Clever Uses for Plastic Produce Bags

Don't throw away the plastic produce bags from the grocery store! You can prevent extra plastic waste by reusing the bags with one of our clever ideas.

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Female hand with plastic bag
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Pick Up After the Dog

Plastic produce bags work great as dog waste bags. Simply grab one the next time you take Rover for a walk. (If you’re thinking about skipping the plastic produce bags at the store altogether, here’s why that’s not a good idea.)

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Young man wearing face cover selecting string beans at farmer's market to prevent spreading the covid 19 virus.
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Reuse Them at the Farmers Market

Save your plastic produce bags to reuse at the farmers market. That way your farmers market tote stays nice and clean; and your farm-fresh bounty is safely wrapped up in separate bags.

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Overhead view of suitcase being packed for vacation
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Wrap Your Shoes

There’s dirt and bacteria on the bottom of your shoes, and when you place them in your luggage, all that gunk can get on your clean clothes and other items. Here’s the solution: Before you pack your shoes, wrap them in a produce bag.

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Parsley covered by a plastic bag
Taste of Home

Store Fresh Herbs

The best way to store fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro is to place the ends in a small vase with water, and then put them in the fridge. But home refrigerators are notoriously dry places. To prevent your herbs from drying out, tie a produce bag around the top of the bunch to trap humidity.

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Jumbled plate of food

Cover Leftovers

Most people store leftovers in Tupperware, or cover them in foil; but when you’re in a pinch, a produce bag works. Simply wrap your plate of food in a plastic produce bag and leave it in the fridge. You’re not creating extra waste, you don’t have to clean an extra dish and your leftovers will be just as tasty.

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trash bin in the toilet
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Line a Small Trash Can

You can buy small trash can liners for your bathroom trash cans; but a produce bag works just as well. Store your produce bags with the other trash bags, and use as needed. (Psst! Here are some reusable items that will save you money and help the environment.)

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Close-up of father changing diaper of his newborn baby daughter. Little child, girl on changing table in bathroom with rattle toys.
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Take Out Smelly Diapers

If you have a baby or toddler, keep some plastic produce bags near the changing table. When it’s time to dispose of a smelly diaper, simply place it in a produce bag for easy transfer to the outdoor garbage can.

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Cups in a car holder
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Keep Your Car Clean

Keep a few produce bags in the glove compartment of your car. Then when the kids leave snack wrappers or other trash starts to accumulate, you can clean it up quickly by throwing it in a produce bag. (Avoid throwing out straws by using these alternatives to plastic straws.)

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Close up of painting kitchen cabinets white.
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Protect Paint Brushes

If you’re working on a paint project and need to take a break, wrap your paintbrush in a produce bag. This will keep your brush wet and ready to use again so you can skip the step of rinsing out the brush and waiting for it to dry.

If you still have too many plastic produce bags, here’s the easiest way to recycle them.

Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.