How To: Make A Plastic Bag Keeper

Saving and reusing plastic bags is such a basic tip that we hardly ever feel the need to mention it, but storage is always a problem. Personally, we have a cabinet that is sort of overrun with these rogue saved bags, and it annoys us to no end. Occasionally, we flip out and get rid of them. Curbly suggests making a plastic bag keeper out of a plastic bottle and some string.

As you get them, shove bags in the top hole; as you need them, pull them out of the bottom hole. (I fit 15 medium-sized bags in my bottle.) Having the plastic bags at hand-my keeper will be hanging by my back door-should encourage reusing them. Plus, they look a lot neater packed in that bottle.

Nifty! We think we’ll put ours under the bathroom sink because we use our Target bags as bathroom garbage bags. —MEGHANN MARCO

How To Make A Plastic Bag Keeper [Curbly]

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  1. Toof_75_75 says:

    Disclaimer: This bag-saver NOT TO BE USED within the geographical limits of San Francisco; as plastic bags are outlawed there.

    Oh, left coast…how ridiculous you are!

  2. micou says:

    Many local grocery stores have a recycle bin for bags, if your homemade bag hutch gets over run.

    You can also drop off bags at your local dog park. You’ll always need something to pick up Dog Bombs.

  3. LAGirl says:

    or…you could spend the $10 and get this baby:

    http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?CATID=7

    or, be a big spender and spring for the $15 model! (i have this one and it’s awesome):

    http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?CATID=7

    that’s what? like 2 or 3 triple carmel no-foam soy lattes??

  4. mschlock says:

    I have one of these. It’s prettier, though of course it’s not free.

    Also, it’s constantly full. Apparently going to the grocery store once a week and taking home five new plastic bags can’t be offset by taking out the bathroom trash once a week…

  5. Mike_ says:

    That looks like more trouble than it’s worth. We keep ours in a plastic bag on a hook in the closet near where we unpack our groceries. When it gets full, we start a new one, and drop the old one off at the recycling center.

  6. Eukaryote says:

    They should just get the Bag Hutchâ„¢!

    “Bags, bags, bags, bags, what am I going to do with all of these bags?!?”

    (Thanks Mr. Show)

  7. GirlGoneRiled says:

    I’m with Mike – this is way too much trouble, unless one truly enjoys domestic doodad crafting (next: plastic canvas toilet paper cozy). I either shove mine into a bag on a hook int he laundry room or scrunch them into an empty tissue box if I’m looking for a smaller storage profile.

  8. tracilyns says:

    or you could use canvas/fabric bags and not have to worry about it at all.

  9. Dervish says:

    @ Eukaryote:

    “Honey, where are all the bags?”

    “They’re in the bag hutch!”

    “No sh*t!”

  10. hiphopnerd says:
  11. You can get the fabric tube ones with elastic at the top and bottom for a couple bucks at the grocery store, usually. That’s what I use.

    Also — re: bag input greater than output — get a couple of string bags (www.ecobags.com). I find that if I bag most of my shopping in those and let them put the spillover in plastic bags, that’s about the right amount to have on hand for bathroom trashcans and litterbox duty.

    (String bags are also much, much easier to carry, especially the shoulder ones, and can fit a lot more stuff, if you have to walk to the store or take public transit. I got hooked on them in London.)

  12. mschlock says:

    You know, you’re right — I’m tired of extra bag spillover, and those damn things cut into your hands. Perhaps I will try being a hippie and get some reusable bags.

    I always liked the string ones since they scrunch up small and can be tossed back in the car easily…

  13. LAGirl says:

    @hiphopnerd:

    that was some funny f*cking sh*t!!

  14. wqwert says:

    Ikea has a great plastic bag dispense for like 3 bucks http://www.ikea.com.sg/products/product_display.asp?id=900

  15. madktdisease says:

    @LAGirl:

    i have one of those. looove em.

  16. Welcome_to_Oakas says:

    I use an old sock to store my bags. Shove ‘em in where your leg would go and dispense from the toe hole. Bonus: it has all the charm of something that should be stored under the sink.
    I also use old socks to store camping gear off season like my GPS and headlamp.
    I wish I could figure out a place to store all my old socks though…

  17. mach1andy says:

    This afternoon I will witness a whole closet of Trader Joe’s plastic bags shrunken into one or two of these handy bottle dispensers. Thanks for the tiP!

  18. add_robinson says:

    One warning when saving plastic bags from bodegas and supermarkets. This is a great way to bring unhatched cockroach eggs into your home. They love to nest in these bags when they are stored in infested locations. Consider yourself warned.

  19. TSS says:

    I too use an empty tissue box. Very handy, free, and no cutting of plastic bottles required.

  20. @Welcome_to_Oakas: In a giant plus size tube sock!

  21. MarieHuynh says:

    Why not just make use of a plastic bag and stick the other plastic bags in that?

  22. TinaB says:

    @wqwert:
    I totally saw those at IKEA last night and had no idea what the hell it was. Thanks!

  23. mwshook says:

    My mom has made one of these out of a 1 gallon milk jug. She splays out the bags from the top to make a head of hair. The bags at the bottom protrude like a tongue or vomit. She drew a face on the bottle. It scares me.

  24. itchy feet says:

    The Ikea things rock – I thought I’d blow the $3 bucks on one and and it would be a pain in the neck and teach me a lesson about buying cheap plastic junk.

    But then I fell in lurve…

  25. toolverine says:

    @Toof_75_75:

    Actually, compostable plastic bags are still allowed in SF. Plus, the ban only applies to grocery and pharmacy chains for now.

    I made myself a handy bag container in all of a minute or so. Works well!

  26. catnapped says:

    The sad thing is that most plastic bags rarely survive the trip home (on their first use), never mind being able to reuse.

  27. synergy says:

    @Mike_: winner!

  28. Jon R. says:

    Instead of using that functional kludge or spending money on a bag dispenser, just use an old tissue box. It dispenses bags like tissues, is attractive and free (assuming you actually use tissues).