Don't just throw them away...

Some good uses for items that would otherwise be thrown away:

Save up the free carrier bags from tescos, Sainbury's etc and use them as bin liners for small bins, especially kitchen bins. They even have handles so are easy to tie up and throw away. You won't save megabucks but it is very environmentally friendly and personally I think they are stronger than the white plastic variety!

Fill empty milk cartons with water and use instead of dumbbells! My mum has upper arms like a champion badminton player and at no cost.

Any others?


  • Chipps
    Chipps Posts: 1,550
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Re the "free" carrier bags from supermarkets, thereare any number of websites that tell you how to reuse/make things from them.
    One idea is to cut them into strips & crochet things out of them!! ;D
    Fortunately, I am crazy enough to have done this - to make a joke gift for my grandma. She is 95 and is the queen of the plastic bag. She puts everything (well, almost) in plastic bags. If she goes on holiday all her clothes are packed in individual bags, all her sheets are in the ottoman in plastic bags and so on, and so on.
    So I crocheted a doily for her out of a plastic bag... as an appropriate present ;D ;D
  • cathy_3
    cathy_3 Posts: 1,500
    Combo Breaker First Post
    you know those huge huge milk bottles and orange juice containers etc

    the bigger the better

    cut the tops off so you have a big pot fill full of soil and plants

    hang on the fence once the trailing plants have trailed and they look lovely dotted all over the fence
  • angela110660
    angela110660 Posts: 925
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I hate plastic milk thingies - we are lucky enough to still have the milkman to return the bottles to. However, if I get plastic bottles eg squash I use them as watering cans for the hanging baskets. I also cut them in half to use as mini cloches when we plant out baby plants and want to protect them from the slugs and birds to get established. Very useful.
  • lswwong
    lswwong Posts: 407 Forumite
    I confess to being a closet hausfrau ..... have been using supermarket bags as bin liners for the last ten years. Purposefully, I bought a kitchen bin which is just the right size for using such bags. Also, I tend not to take bags from supermarkets and bring my own shopping holdalls. An anomaly! However, friends and colleagues give me loads of theirs. So there is a steady supply of these bags.

    In terms of dealing with junk mail, I tend to open them, sort out which bits can go into the recycling pile, and which bits e.g. the window envelope which cannot be recylcled becomes trash. Then the envelopes etc I save up in a neat stash and use these to line the bottom of my kitchen bin as well as put into the bottom of the bin liner (carrier bag) when I change it in order to absorb excess moisture from the rubbish. (Dripping bags of rubbish are not very nice.) Most junk mail envelopes are a little waxy on the surface so that's handy for keeping moisture in the bag and not leak everywhere.

    At the office, I save things like bubble wrap and other packaging materials. They always come in handy at a later date and are otherwise expensive to purchase. The wrapper paper for realms of photocopying paper, when undone neatly i.e. not torn, I save for myself to use at home. I put a large sheet of paper, which is a little waxy and thick i.e. good for holding moisture, under my chopping board so any debris can go straight on to it. At the end of chopping, I just wrap up the lot and bin it. A neat and tidy way to work in the kitchen.
  • System
    System Posts: 178,068
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Community Admin

    you sound just like me! :)

    We have used carrier bags in our bins for years, although I do carry reusable ones (usually 10p from supermarkets) in my handbags as they are stronger than normal supermarket ones.

    I always recycle any junk mail that hasn't got our details on (except envelopes, like your idea of lining bins).

    At work, I have a reputation for recycling any paper I can.
  • lswwong
    lswwong Posts: 407 Forumite
    Hey Leafy Lou!

    That's so cool that you also save stuff like I do. (I am not alone, at last!)

    I used to work for an investment bank where the stationery always came in white jiffy bags. Most people just threw them into the bin when they have taken their stuff out. I saved a big stash for myself, in various sizes too. Then when I did a spate of selling on Amazon earlier this year, these saved jiffy bags came in handy and it costed me nothing i.e. my selling profits were improved.

    I think this thread is a good example of sensible and responsible consumption!
  • mutley74
    mutley74 Posts: 4,020
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    we sometimes collect used teabags in a container in the house, but not to use again. We open the contents and mix the tea in the garden outdoors and in some large flower pots we have outside, them mix it in the soil. Apparently the tea has some good properties to nourish the soil with nutrients over time. Saves buying plant food.
  • lswwong
    lswwong Posts: 407 Forumite
    Coffee grounds and egg shells work too. But don't put too much in otherwise the soil might become too acidic.
  • cathy_3
    cathy_3 Posts: 1,500
    Combo Breaker First Post
    when the old fart cuts the grass he puts all the cuttings in a bin bag and leaves it alone adds tea bags and UNCOOKED food to it over the weeks then tips it onto the compost heap

    not pleasant but boy does it get the compost heap going

    guy on the radio gardener said

    collect all the tea bags and grass cuttings put in a bucket and pee in the bucket every day for a fortnight

    lid on the bucket of course when not peeing in it

    and after 2 weeks youve got the best plant food you can get
  • trafalgar_2
    trafalgar_2 Posts: 22,309
    Combo Breaker First Post

    guy on the radio  gardener said

    collect all the tea bags  and grass cuttings  put in a bucket and pee in the bucket every day for a fortnight

    lid on the bucket of course when not peeing in it

    and after 2 weeks youve got the best plant food you can get
    Is that what you call an "outside toilet" ;D ;D
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 341.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards