Friday, April 4, 2014

Using Recyclable Plastic Bags for Household Recycling

Need to Upgrade Your Recycling Habits? 

Consider Making Convenience a Factor!


Getting Kids to Recycle More with


I have to believe that the main reason people choose not to recycle is a matter of convenience (or, inconvenience, really). Perhaps the recycling bin is outdoors, in another room, or waaaay out in the garage... well that makes recycling really inconvenient, doesn't it (especially in a winter like our last one)? And I've been there! Which is why I'm sharing this post today :)

I've experimented with different ways to keep my recycling bins close to the most heavily-trafficked areas of my house. Take the kitchen, for example. In our last house, I kept the recycling bins in the mudroom, which worked pretty well, but they were still harder to get to than the regular ol' trash bin that was next to the sink. Also, every time I went out there I had to make sure the dogs (or one of my children) weren't going to run outside while the door was open.

When we moved last year, I was determined to make a designated spot for recyclables somewhere actually IN the kitchen, so I looked and looked for a trash can that could accommodate both trash and recycling (since we don't have the space here for one of those fancy pull-out trash bin drawers). I finally found one that was reasonably priced, and we were (almost) ready to go. Now I needed liners... that was trickier.

Single Stream Recycling Ideas via

Again, I looked and looked for recyclable trash can liners and was totally shocked my how expensive most of them were. I finally found a product that was reasonably priced (but it's only sold in bulk). The bags I got (and currently still use) are by PlasticPlace (we get them on Amazon). They come in a big cardboard box of 250 bags and sell for $36.99 (which calculates out to $0.14/bag). Since then, I noticed Whole Foods started carrying much more reasonably priced Glad Recycling Kitchen Bags (and Amazon has them too), but the PlasticPlace bags are still cheaper (plus, since you're buying in bulk, it creates a lot less packaging waste). The first box we got easily lasted us over a year! And in case you were wondering, no, I don't normally keep them on display in a cute little basket--it just makes for a prettier picture than a shot of under my sink!

recycling ideas via

Simply adding the "convenience factor" to our recycling routine has made the act of recycling become second-nature to everyone. The girls always ask, "Which one does this go in?" whenever they're cleaning up. And it's eye-opening to see how much recycling we put out week after week (we generate considerably more recycling than garbage). Which is great, but that tells me that our next step needs to be bringing less packaging in the house to begin with so we can reduce our waste output (be it recyclable or not) even more. But at least we're making progress :)

Ok, now after all that, wanna hear something funny? This post itself is a good example of recycling, because last year I posted about this topic in one of my VERY FIRST blog posts! If you check it out, you'll see the content and intentions are still the same, but I'd say the delivery has certainly improved! ;)

This post is part of the Spring Greening Month Series. Find out why I'm hosting this event here.


  1. I have my plastic one outside and my paper/cardboard one inside! It's working pretty well but I love your idea!

    1. Thanks, Sasha! You actually reminded me that I never mentioned that we have single-stream recycling here, so I only need to arrange for one bin for all our recycling! Single-stream recycling was one of the best things that ever happened to my recycling life ;)

  2. You're so right - convenience makes it so much easier! For the longest time, we kept our recycling bin in our mudroom, which, even though it was only two doors away from the kitchen, it just made it inconvenient enough to be a pain. I'm ashamed to admit that more than a little bit of recyclable materials ended up in the the trash because of sheer laziness. Since we brought a separate can in to the kitchen just for recycling though, we don't have that problem anymore!


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