11 great ways to use those leftover plastic carrier bags before they vanish for good

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We are all expected to start using plastic carrier bags less and less after the 5p charge was introduced in supermarkets and large stores in England.

It would be great to see less of the things clogging up drains, wrapped around a poor animal’s head, floating in the ocean or just blowing down the street after being carelessly abandoned.

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But if you’ve got hundreds of bags lying around the house, there are plenty of effective, common sense - and sometimes ingenious - uses for them.

Here are our favourite 11:

1. Has your mop given up the ghost? Wrap a couple of carrier bags around your feet, strap a dishcloth on top of each, and you can become your very own human mop! The same principle applies for when your rubber gloves have died and you need to get into those nooks and crannies of your home to clean.

2. Why spend money on freezer bags? Old shopping bags are great for wrapping food in. They can also be cut up and used to separate layers of home-made snacks which you are freezing.

3. Making a roast dinner but not keen to get splattered by the marinade? Wrap your chicken or leg of lamb in a couple of carrier bags and then bash it about and massage it to your heart’s content. Sealing the bags tightly will help the food to marinade better.

3. A great one for cyclists in the rain: Put your phone, keys, wallet in a plastic bag before they go in your handbag or rucksack to keep your valuables dry.

4. Car driver can benefit too! Wrapping a carrier bag around each of your wing mirrors overnight will help beat those frosty mornings and that agonising wait before work.

5. . Donate to your local primary school for when children need to take wet swimming costumes home.

7. If you’re trying to reduce your household rubbish, ditch the big bin liners, and just use a carrier bag hanging off the side of your bin. But try to empty the bin to the same frequency.

8. Pet lovers can use carrier bags as alternative poop bags or to scoop litter trays.

9. Donate bags to your local charity shop or small independent shop so they can save on their own bag bill,

10. Stuffing draughty pipes around the home with carrier bags will trap lots of air.

11. And perhaps the most obvious one...re-use old plastic bags from home at the supermarket!

Plastic carrier bag usage down by 90% since 5p charge came in, says Leeds-based Asda

Jeff Fairburn of Persimmon

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