Most plastic shopping bags are made of polyethylene, which is derived from ethylene. Each year, millions of plastic bags are disposed in landfills, which can negatively affect the environment. It can take several centuries before plastic bags decompose in landfills, and thus, continuous disposal of plastic bags can cause flooding and obstruct drainage systems. Single-use plastic bags also contribute to litter and increased atmospheric acidification. However, thinner plastic bags are more likely to decompose quicker than heavy duty plastic bags.

Many people are now choosing to go green, and make reusable shopping bags. They use the plastic bags to their fullest extent instead of discarding the bags. Using plastic bags for several purposes prior to disposing the bags in trash containers and dumpsters can significantly reduce the annual amount of plastic bag build-up in landfills.
Reusable Purposes

Plastic bags can be used for several different purposes. Whether the bags come from the shopping malls, the grocery stores or the hardware stores, each bag can be creatively reconstructed as handy bags for your next shopping outing. In addition to using the plastic reusable shopping bags for several shopping trips, you can also opt to salvage the lifespan of plastic bags for other reasons. Simply, use plastic bags as small trash bags; storage bags; or donate the bags to recycle centers.


Creating New Reusable Bags

The easiest way to reuse plastic bags and use them for multiple shopping trips is to keep clothing store bags. You may notice that shopping bags from department stores, shoes stores and the like are much thicker than grocery store shopping bags.  Grocery store bags can easily be used for storage bags or a carry bag. Many clothing store bags are rectangular in shape. It is easy to use them as future shopping bags for several months. Some bags may contain company logos, and you may choose to use these bags in their respective stores. Alternatively, you can hide the logos with creative art figures.
Sample Creative Shopping Bag

You can use about 3 to four plastic bags of different colors to create one reusable shopping bag. Stack 2 piles of 2 to 4 plastic bags. Cut the seams of the bags to make several rectangular pieces. Place wax paper on each set of 2 to 4 plastic bags, and iron the paper to each side of the plastic bags. Make sure that you have fused the wax paper with the plastic. Begin ironing the paper at the center, and work your way towards the outer layers of the paper. You may also choose to fold the top or bottom of the bag, and apply heat to create creases. You can also decorate the bag with different colorful shapes.
Creating Colorful Shapes

There are several ways to make art figures and various shapes to apply to reusable shopping bags. Be creative, and use a collage of colorful art materials to apply to the new shopping bag. By doing this, you will more than likely keep the bag for a long time and use it as a shopping tote bag.

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