Plastic bags are a huge environmental hazard. They fill up the landfills and cause waterways to get clogged. However, these bags are so convenient to have that they can be found in just about every home. To cut back on the usage of these plastic storage bags, you may want to consider recycling the bags by reusing them, instead of throwing these away. To do this, you need to wash the bags carefully so you can reuse them. Here’s how to go about it.
- Sort the old storage bags. Get the plastic storage bags you want to reuse. Inspect them carefully. If the lock is broken or it is ripped and torn, it can no longer be reused and it should be thrown away. Check if you can recycle it along with your plastics. Plastics that are still in good condition can be washed for reuse. Storage bags that you can reuse are sandwich bags and Ziplock bags that were used to store dry items such as crackers, clothing, diapers, as well as fruits and vegetables.
- Do not reuse bags that were used for meat products. When sorting, you need to know that you should discard storage bags that were used to store meat. The reason for this is because not only does meat leave behind a meaty and greasy film, it also may contain bacteria that may be transferred to the new item. So as not to be wasteful, use old storage bags that you have washed for meat so you know that it has at least gotten a few uses before it gets thrown.
- Wash the bags in warm soapy water. When the bags are ready, turn each one inside out. Get a basin and fill it up with warm water and a bit of dishwashing liquid. Soak the bags in the basin for a few minutes. You should also go over each bag individually and use a sponge to really wipe each one clean. Be sure to clean both sides of the storage bag and to run a sponge along the seam of the lock. When all traces of dirt are gone, rinse well with warm water.
- Allow to air dry. After rinsing, use a clean dishcloth to pat down the bags. You can also hang them to dry. If you don’t have clothespins, you may also rest them on your kitchen cooking utensils such as a wooden spoon to drip dry.
- Wash the storage bags in the dishwasher. As an alternative, you can also purchase reusable storage plastic bags. One brand is Bag-E-Use. This brand is specifically designed to be washed and reused over and over again. Each bag can be used up to fifty times. However, do not put in the dishwasher regular storage bags as they may not withstand the pressure inside and may come out torn or ripped.
Reusing storage plastic bags is good for the environment. It will also save you a few bucks along the way. If you wish, you can switch other types of containers that aren’t disposable to really cut back on your waste.