6 Green Things to Do with All Those Plastic Bags

Great upcycling ideas for your used plastic shopping bags.

The ubiquitous plastic shopping bag is an unavoidable part of modern life. While you may make every effort to be green, you could still find yourself with a large wad of plastic bags collecting under your kitchen sink or a cupboard full of reusable ones that you’ve collected along the way.

Every year, Canadians use 9 -15 billion plastic bags which negatively impact the environment as well as animal and marine life through improper disposal. According to Greener Footprints, plastic bags are made from fossil fuels, so 8.7 plastic bags contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car 1 km. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can upcycle your used plastic bags and save them from the landfill. Here are a few fun ways to give your plastic bag collection a new lease on life. 


Plastic Bag Raincoat

It’s very easy to make plastic bag ‘fabric’. Simply cut the bags open, layer 6-8 sheets of plastic between two pieces of wax paper and iron with a cool iron. The plastic bags will fuse together to make a thick, durable fabric which you can use to make raincoats, bags and just about anything else. Here is a tutorial on how to make plastic bag fabric. Get the full DIY instructions for this adult raincoat here and instructions for a children’s raincoat here

Picture by Makezine



DIY Plastic Bag Rugs

Cut plastic bags into strips and braid them together to form this durable upcycled plastic bag area rug which is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. Since it’s plastic, you can use it outdoors too. Get the full DIY instructions here

Picture by One Dog Woof



Shopping Bag Lamp Shade

This gorgeous lampshade is easy to create. Start with a wire frame, then cut your plastic bags into strips and tie them onto the frame to get make this fun shade. Get the full DIY instructions here

Picture by The Three R’s



DIY Plastic Flowers

Make these beautiful flowers for bouquets, hair accessories and party decorations from your old plastic bags. This is a great summer vacation craft to keep your kids busy. Get the full DIY instructions here

Picture by Instructables



Recycled Plastic Bag Kite

Another perfect craft project for the summer is making kites for windy days. It’s easy to cut a used plastic bag and make a colorful kite. Get the full tutorial here

Picture by Whole Living



Recycled Plastic Bag Jewelry

Make glamorous jewelry out of colourful plastic bags for yourself or as a gift. Get the full tutorial here

Picture by Instructables








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