Free Trash Bags

In a preceding entry, I wrote some considerations on the use of plastic grocery bags as trash bags. I've devised a way where you could have the convenience of using ordinary plastic grocery bags as effective trash can liners.

Plastic grocery bags nowadays have tabs or "ears" by the sides of the plastic bag. The purpose of these tabs is to allow grocery baggers to easily close the contents of the grocery bags by tying them together instead of the grocery bag handles.

The photo below shows a plastic grocery bag's handles and tabs.

It's these parts of an ordinary plastic grocery bag that will allow you to secure the opening of the bag to the trash can's opening and ensure the bag's always open.

How big a plastic bag do you need? Well, you can practically use any grocery bag whose handles can be stretched all the way to the narrow sides of a regular waste basket with a rectangular opening (more on this later). It is important though that the plastic bag has the tabs as mentioned above.

The nice thing about a plastic grocery bag is that, eventually, you throw it out with the rest of the trash that it holds. You always get a steady supply of these plastic bags, and best of all, they're free!

How to use Plastic Grocery Bags as Cheap Trash Bags

For this DIY project, you'll be able to convert an ordinary trash can so it is able to secure a plastic grocery bag as its trash liner.

Materials Needed:
  1. Trash can or Waste basket. I use the regular ones for office use with a rectangular opening and rounded corners. Mine's colored black (can't find any other color) and is 13.5 inches tall. The inside opening along the longer side measures 13.5 inches while the inside width is 8 inches. I bought this for Php 189.75 or less than $4.

  2. Adhesive Square Hooks. The ones I have are made of metal and are supposedly rated at 300 gms (carrying capacity). There are adhesive hooks made of plastic but tend to be thicker. 4 pieces of these adhesive metal square hooks in a pack cost Php 79.75 or less than $2.

  3. Plastic Grocery Bag. Use the ones with tabs along the sides. Choose the biodegradable ones. Free.

  1. Peel off the backing of the hook so the adhesive is exposed. Position the hook in the middle of the long side of the trash receptacle's opening. It should be outside, just below the trash can's rim. Be sure the hook is INVERTED, pointing DOWNWARDS and not up. Press firmly on the trash can surface.

  2. Do the same for all the three other points of the trash can's opening as shown below.

  3. Place the plastic bag inside the trash can.

  4. Pull the bag's handles outward and slip them over to the two opposing hooks as shown below.

  5. With the plastic bag handles securely hooked, pull the bag's tabs outward towards the opposing hooks.

  6. Let the metal hook pierce the outstretched tab as shown below and do for both sides. The tabs should be taut when pierced by the hooks.

This trash receptacle is now ready to accept trash. Once the receptacle is full, simply unhook the handles and tabs of the plastic trash bag and then tie them together.

Cheap Plastic Trash Bags for the Apartment

In my experience, the tenants in the building which had the most ants and probably other pests were the ones who used plastic bags as door knob bags.

I'd probably suggest this simple DIY project to this tenant. Or I could probably invest on this cheap solution and provide trash receptacles with the hooks to all new tenants coming in.