Did you realize it costs more to recycle a plastic bag than to make a new one? In fact, it costs $4,000 to recycle one ton of plastic bags, which would then be turned around & sold for $32 to stores to use. As a result, most stores just throw away the bags we bring in for recycling.
Many countries have actually banned or taxed plastic bags, which has motivated shoppers to use reusable bags. If one in 5 people used reusable bags, the article estimates we would save 1.3 trillion bags over a lifetime.
The problem I always had with reusable bags was that I'd have to buy a slew of them for all the groceries I buy! I usually come home with at least 10 bags when I do my bi-weekly shopping. I didn't want to pay for 10+ bags for this purpose.
Then I found these directions from Martha to make them - easy and free!
She even has a video to watch if you need the extra help, although it really is soooo easy to figure out.
photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
You just need the following:
- old t-shirts
- scissors or a rotary cutter (also a rotary cutting board if you're using a rotary cutter)
- the ability to sew a straight line on a sewing machine (no fancy sewing knowledge needed!)
As I cleaned out Chad's clothing from his dresser a couple of weeks ago, I could not believe how many old t-shirts he had that he doesn't wear anymore, even for lawn work or painting, due to small stains or a hole where he ripped out the neck tag (does your man do this too??? drives me nuts!) I ended up with 10 that were fine for this purpose (and an empty dresser drawer!)
I did cut about 8-10 inches off the bottoms of the shirts, because I felt the bags were going to be too long otherwise. The result was bags that are closer in length to the plastic ones from the store. My bags are shorter than the one pictured above.
Go dig out all those shirts you & your family don't wear because they're not up to standard, and in about an hour you'll have an arsenal of reusable, recycled bags of your own!