REFASH Flimsy Plastic bags into a Reusable Bag

Plastic bags, especially the flimsy polyethylene bags that we are all so familiar with are notoriously hard to recycle. In fact, while the percentage of plastic recycled globally is 8-9%, the percentage of plastic bags recycled is dramatically lower at 1-3%. It is also the type of plastic with the least monetary value. So even, the kabbadiwala’s, the saviours of our non existent waste management system, have no real incentive to sift them out of our growing piles of trash. In Spite of this, globally, 160,000 plastic bags are produced every second. 

So, while the first and most preferable step is to avoid them altogether, if for whatever reason you do end up with these In your house, this DIY will show you how to turn them into a more durable, and functional bag, that you can use as a grocery or shopping bag. 

Materials needed: 

  1.     Plastic Bags
  2.     Ruler 
  3.     Scissors 
  4.     Sewing Machine 
  5.     Baking Paper
  6.     Iron 
  7.     Wooden plank or something heavy to press the bags together




1. Collect your plastic bags. Ensure that you do not throw these away and collect them instead, because odds are, it will wind up in the ocean or landfill. 

2. Prepare the sheets by cutting the plastic bags to the same size 

3. Layer it under a sheet of baking paper and iron it to smooth out any creases 

The setting for the Iron: Iron it about 200 degrees Celcius on Cotton. 

Now you have a stack of flat, pre ironed plastic sheets which you will be fusing together.


 4. Press and iron these plastic sheets together. 

First press each sheet to flatten it using a wooden plank or some similar heavy object

Then take the first 2 sheets and layer then under baking paper and iron them. Then add the third sheet and iron all three together in the same manner. 

Now you should have a thick and durable sheet of plastic which is ready to be sewn into your reusable bag. 

You can also add strips of plastic to create a more interesting pattern. Or keep it simple and solid coloured. 

5. Sew this sheet into a bag at your sewing machine. You can also sew on a pocket in the front for additional functionality. 

 To finish, you can glue on handles of your choice to complete this functional, upcycled tote. 

Your refash'd and durable plastic tote is ready!


Find more DIYs here.

Discover and shop upcycled products here.

Picture Credits - Johnson Giles

Content Credits - HGTV

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