Our Favourite Ideas For Recycling Soft Plastic Bread Bags

Our Favourite Ideas For Recycling Soft Plastic Bread Bags

With the recent issues regarding the recycling of soft plastics, you may be thinking that recycling is a waste of time. Just chuck it in the bin and be done with it. While the recycling of soft plastics may actually have stopped for the foreseeable future in Australia (as at 11/01/23), there are still things that we can do as consumers to help to reduce the amount of soft plastics going to landfill.

One of the major plastics that we personally have to recycle every week are plastic bags from bread! And we eat a lot of bread (more than I'd probably like to admit). Because of this, we have had to find other things to do with the soft plastic bags that the bread comes packaged in. Whilst it is definitely better to recycle the bags if you can, whilst we cannot, the bags can always be used for other things. I especially like to use the soft plastic bread bags for anything that I would have normally used cling wrap for (plastic wrap or saran wrap if you are American). 

These are our favourite ways to recycle soft plastic bread bags

1. The most obvious idea is to use your bread bag to store homemade bread or rolls in instead of wrapping in cling wrap.

sliced bread

2. Slide it over opened meat trays and seal to keep fresh instead of using cling wrap (as long as the bread bag is wrapped around the end of the tray so that no air is getting in, it will act as cling wrap and will keep the meat fresh).

3. Wrap your opened block cheese in it instead of wrapping it in cling wrap (see point above).

4. If you are expecting rain and going for a walk but you don't have a waterproof phone case put your phone in a bread bag to protect it before putting it in your pocket.

laughing woman standing in the rain in a red cat with a red rain hat- rain dripping off her hat

5. Take your sandwiches to work or school in your bread bag instead of using cling wrap (don't use this idea for messy sandwiches, only things like Vegemite and peanut butter).

6. Marinade meat in the bag- make sure the bag has no holes in it before using it to do this. This way will ensure that the marinade is always in contact with the meat, rather than being in a tray that may not submerge the meat in the marinade properly.

7. Use the soft bread bags to cover mixing bowls instead of using cling wrap

8. Use as a glove for greasing pans.

9. Collect food scraps for the compost bin. You can store the bread bag in the freezer until it is full and then add the scraps to the compost.

10. Use to bread/ season/crumb other foods (kind or ironic considering it was a bread bag). Simply put the bread crumbs in the bag and add your ingredients you wish to cover in crumbs- this is a fantastic, mess free way of crumbing your foods whilst also not needing an excess bowl!

11. Nappy disposal- if you have babies and use disposable nappies, put them in an empty bread  bag and dispose of them in your bin this way to reduce the smell.

12. Store puzzle pieces/small kids toys in them- there are plenty more ways to keep organised and stop buying other items for organization, such as zip lock bags- just use an old bread bag- if you lost the tag you can always just tie a knot in the bag!


By following some of these simple suggestions and of course coming up with your own, you can help to reduce your excess plastic use by using the bags for things you would normally use cling wrap for. It may not be as good as recycling the soft plastics- especially if you have already limited or stopped your use of cling wrap, however it is better than nothing! Remember, progress, not perfection!

The one thing that I do not suggest doing with soft plastics is hoarding them away until you can recycle them again- they can be flammable and dangerous!

If you have any suggestions for what we can do with our soft plastics whilst we are unable to recycle them leave us a comment below. We look forward to hearing your suggestions!

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