If you’ve read my blog post Is homemade bread healthier and cheaper, you’ll know that we mostly bake our own bread at home. However, we do occasionally buy a loaf or two from the shops, especially the SASKO low-GI loaves, which we quite like.
Most store bought loaves of bread are sold pre-packaged in plastic bags, as you know, and for a while, I didn’t really know what to do with these bags even though I kept them. I always made sure I emptied the last of the bread crumbs on our lawn (for the birds!) then neatly folded the bag, and kept it aside.
Eventually, the bags accumulated, as these are not really bags you can reuse on a daily basis, should you need one. From time to time, I used a few of the bread bags as freezer bags to store some of our fresh produce, and for a while, it felt like they had a purpose.
Until one day, when we ran out of small pedal bin liners that I used to use in the small bins in our bathrooms. So I fetched one of the bread bags, and what do you know – it fit perfectly!
Since then, I’ve actually been collecting bread bags from family and friends and I haven’t bought any pedal bin liners for our bathroom bins for a very, very long time now. While we are still using a plastic bag to line all our bins at home, which is not the ideal solution, I know, I feel that at least we’re doing something by not buying more plastic bags.
This also saves us a bit of money. A package of pedal bin liners can sell for as much as R50.00 or R60.00, if not more these days, and the bread bags come along with the loaves of bread anyway. So even if they’re not technically free, they’re more than likely included in the price you pay for the bread, so they’ve been paid for already.
I also try to use each plastic bread bag as a bin liner for as long as possible. Very often, the only rubbish in those small bins is a shampoo or a deodorant bottle, or soap packaging, all of which are easily disposed of in our main household bin, without leaving any dirt or any other kind of residue in the bin liner a.k.a. the plastic bread bag.
Reusing whatever plastic bags we have at home, even the bread bags can actually reduce the amount of plastic that eventually ends up in our landfills, especially if the bag can finally be sent for recycling. Reusing the plastic bags for as long as possible as well, also means that we are reducing the amount of plastic bags that we buy over a prolonged period of time, and thus we are not contributing further to the plastic bag manufacturing industry.
How do you reuse the plastic bread bags that you bring home? I’d love to hear some of your ideas. I can certainly find one or two additional uses for the plastic bread bags I already have.
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