By September 20, 2007

On Target: A Big Box retailer’s ten plastic bag conservation suggestions

I wrote up a list of ten ways to reuse plastic bags in March after San Francisco passed a ban on plastic grocery bags. I bought some things from Target recently, and noticed they also had a list of ten ideas. Let’s see how they match up.

Pick up dog shit“Doggy Duty”Match
Trashcan linerTiny trashcan linerMatch
Laundry lint bagWater balloonWater balloon? I guess that’s better than buying dedicated balloons, but how about not throwing plastic bags at each other in the first place? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a plastic bag that was watertight enough to actually use as a water balloon anyway.
Keep your feet dry/contaminant freeRoadtrip rubbishNot a bad suggestion by Target, but it’s a little too similar to “tiny trashcan liner.” Maybe they were searching for a few more bullet points?
Keep paint brushes moist overnightSoggy laundryWell, both items involve something wet inside the bag, but that’s about it. Soggy laundry isn’t a bad suggestion, though.
Keep meat from bleeding onto the fridgeIce pack for head lumpGood idea from Target, and I didn’t think of that. I would think the Sacred Bag of Peas would do better, as it’s reusable and is already in a bag. However, that involves wasting food, so it’s a toss up. I guess it depends on where you draw your conservation boundaries.
Store holiday lightsToiletry toteI … guess … this is an okay recommendation. Given the TSA’s propensity to freak out over toothpaste and shampoo these days, I’m not sure I’d want to put my toiletries in a plastic bag that was opaque and could not be easily opened and closed without tying. Thumbs down.
Children should be seen, and not heard — maybe I was search for a few more bullet points? But a plastic bag would be useful for suffocating someone.Kitty litter linerBoth of these suggestions involve little shits, but I haven’t seen a cat box small enough for a plastic bag. Maybe you have to cut them first? Intriguing, maybe a Gibberish cat owner can weigh in on the viability of this one.
Contain spills during travel by wrapping items in a plastic bag or twoTomorrow’s lunchbagThis is a good one, and I’m surprised I didn’t think of it. The downside is that it isn’t insulated, the upside is that you could get a third use out of the bag by using it for waste disposal when you’re done with your meal.
Keep fumigated/chemically treated rags separateCare package paddingI am not sure if this is the best use of plastic bags, but I’ve seen it done. Most packing “peanuts” are biodegradable with water, and while all plastic bags are also biodegradable, they are much more robust than the peanuts. I am fairly sure that newspaper would be more easily recycled than plastic bags. I rate this one a “meh.”

So, there you have it — a few good suggestions, but I’m just happy that Target is printing anything about reuse on these bags. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect people to recycle their bags en masse, but hopefully folks will take a few of these suggestions and start getting multiple uses out of their bags before sending them to the landfill.

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4 Comments on "On Target: A Big Box retailer’s ten plastic bag conservation suggestions"

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  1. When I think about it, I put spare plastic bags in my car (glove box/under seats) for storing trash AND for emergency “gloves” in case I ever have to use Fix-A-Flat again AND for emergency headgear in case of rain.

    As for the toiletries — I used to double-wrap shampoo etc. in tied-up plastic bags in case of leaks, so I wouldn’t arrive anywhere with a suitcase full of shampoo’d clothes.

    I also take a plastic bag or two on me with trips, for dirty laundry storage.

  2. roclar says:

    I don’t use kitty litter liners, but it would have to be the super-sized Target bag for it to be of any use for the liter box that I have.

  3. Stomper says:

    I agree with RoClar – it wouldn’t work for the litter boxes I had in the house for my kitties. Unless it was one of the huge target bags. On the other hand the normal plastic bags are good for lining a travel kittie litter box. Did that when we drove from Santa Fe, NM to New Haven, CT. Not that they would use the box in a moving car, but the option was there.

    As for the use it as an ice pack bag — I would like your issue about water balloons would hold true here too. I’d be afraid that the bag would leak as the ice melts. Refreezable (soft) cooler packs are the way to go here.

  4. Fathir says:

    “Both of these suggestions involve little shits” I LOL’ed IRL.

    How about for committing crimes? Bags on the hands and feet to avoid fingerprints and shoeprints. CSI would be on the lookout for discarded rubber gloves, but bags discarded in a nearby can? Heck maybe find a dog turd at the park and pick it up to further “throw them off the scent”.