Reusable Bag Tips Reusable Bag Tips

With so many billions of bags being consumed each year, addressing the issue of plastic bag litter may seem like a daunting task. The good news is that single use plastic bag litter is caused by individual actions, and individual actions can and will make a huge difference in stemming the tide of single use plastic bag litter.

Maintaining Bags

Below are some simple ways to help you remember and maintain your reusable bags.

  • Keep one or two reusable bags in your car, and put a sticker on your keys to remember to bring your bags into the store.
  • Place your reusable bags by the door, near your car keys, or with your store coupons.
  • Jot a reminder down on your shopping list.
  • Put a reminder note on your refrigerator.
  • Have some reusable bags at the office.
  • If you do forget your bag while in the store, simply walk back to the car to get it (although this is not advisable when you are in the checkout line).
  • Remember to clean/wash your reusable bags frequently.
  • Follow the care instructions on the tag of the bag. Most cloth and fabric bags can be machine washed, while durable plastic bags should be wiped clean.
  • Allow bags to dry before folding and storing.
  • Set aside specific reusable bags for packing groceries and use separate bags for raw meat products, being careful with where they are stored.
Maintaining Bags

Why Reusable Bags?

Reusable Bags
  • Significant cost savings to taxpayers (e.g., less money spent on litter prevention, cleanup, and enforcement resulting from single use bag litter).
  • Less waste generated, fewer natural resources consumed, reduced energy consumption, and less air and water pollution from manufacturing, transportation, and recycling/disposal processes. (click here to learn more about the environmental impacts of single use plastic bags)
  • Grocers' costs for purchasing single use bags may no longer be passed on to customers.
  • Reinforces current State law (Assembly Bill 2449, Levine, 2006 Statutes) which intends "to encourage the use of reusable bags by consumers and retailers and to reduce the consumption of single use bags."
  • Assists in the development of the emerging "green economy" by spurring the reusable bag industry.

Repurpose Bags

Get crafty and create something new with the reusable fabric from your worn-out reusable bag! The following are just a few ideas to stimulate your creativity.

Using Large Pieces

  • book cover
  • gift bag
  • small shopping bag
  • coin purse

Using Small Pieces

  • cleaning cloth
  • liner for a purse or small box

Artistic Creations

  • fabric-wrapped jewelry
  • clothing appliqu├ęs

Paper Bag Tips


  • Skip the bags for single items that can be easily carried or bulky items with a handle.


  • Paper bags can be reused for ripening fruits, covering textbooks, and as carbon-rich "brown" material in your home compost bin.