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Plastic Bag Washing Club — Earth Day 2016

Join my Plastic Bag Washing Club for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year in 2020! All you have to do is wash and reuse plastic bags. 

Earth Day is upon us April 22 — the 50th anniversary this year in 2020 — so it’s time to induct new members into my Plastic Bag Washing Club.

I’ve  found that I’m not alone in my kitchen recycling behavior that has me washing out sturdy zipper-top plastic bags when I use them. Although I try not to use these bags too often, when I do use one, I wash it and let it dry in my kitchen garden window. On a busy cooking day, or when I am using up a lot of leftovers, I might have 4-5 bags drying at any given time. I find that I can use a bag many, many times over if I simply wash it out after use and leave it to dry.

A reused bag is a well loved bag.

Long ago my husband had me convinced it was quirky behavior, but it turns out there are LOTS of fellow bag-washers. So many, in fact, that I have created the Plastic Bag Washing Club. This follows the 2011 post when I first confessed my behavior and invited others to let me know if I was truly a freakshow, or if it is was more common than it seemed.

Call for members

If you are naturally in the Plastic Bag Washing Club (you know it if you are), please let me know so we all don’t feel so odd. Send me a photo (Dorothy.Reinhold@gmail.com) of your plastic bags drying in your kitchen (or whevever you dry them), and I will post it, and make you an honorary member! Please join us, and see how others are doing it…

Plastic Bag Washing Club 2016

Let’s visit a few kitchens so we can see how others do it.
Plastic Bag Washing Club on ShockinglyDelicious.com -- Gerry Doyle hangs the bags outside in San Fran BayOn nice days, Gerry Doyle hangs them on the outside clothesline at her house in the San Francisco Bay area. Let’s give her extra points for using a “solar dryer.”

Plastic Bag Washing Club on ShockinglyDelicious.com -- Patricia Conte from Grab a PlatePatricia Conte of the blog Grab a Plate  [1] employs her dish drainer to great effect.

Christina Conte from Christina's Cucina turns bags inside out

Christina Conte of the blog Christina’s Cucina [2] (no relation to Patricia, above!), jokes about her “high tech” system of turning the bags inside out and setting them on the drying mat with the other dishes. Simple is good, in my book.

Plastic Bag Washing Club 2015

Plastic Bag Washing Club members Robert and Carol Frank | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [3]Robert and Carol Frank of Washington state use their (mostly unused) dishwasher as a handy drying rack. They only run the dishwasher once a week, so the bags have a convenient place to air out and dry.
Plastic Bag Washing Club member Cheryl Newton | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [4]Cheryl Newton of Clearfield, Utah, who calls herself a “civilian with a hopeless recipe addiction,” hangs her bags on knife handles to dry. “If they’re the stiffer freezer bags, sometimes I’ll just set them, open as much as possible, on a towel. I hope your roundup encourages more people to reuse their plastic bags!”
Plastic Bag Washing Club member Denise Vivaldo | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [5]Denise Vivaldo, renowned food stylist, recipe developer and owner of the Denise Vivaldo Group [6] in Los Angeles, washes her bags out with soapy hot water and hangs them to dry on a bottle, in this case San Pellegrino water (how fancy, Denise!). She reuses those that have had bread or vegetables in them, but discards any that have had raw protein (such as meat, chicken or fish), for obvious food safety reasons.
Plastic Bag Washing Club member Kristine Wyatt | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [7]Kristine Wyatt of Pacific Palisades, Calif., washes out not only her plastic bags (which she dries on a bottle), but also her foil, which she then stacks to use again. Bonus points, Kristine!

Plastic Bag Washing Club 2011

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Rustic Garden Bistro | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [8]Kim from Orange County, Calif. perches hers atop her stack of hand-washables drying in the sink. That’s a lotta pots and pans! Dinner must have been great!

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Lori Valesko | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [9]Lori from Long Beach, Calif. also favors the dish stacking method of drying. She just finished washing up after making a pot of Crock-Pot chili. I’m sensing a colander theme here.

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Rashmi of Yumkid | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [10]

Rashmi is in the club! Little kids in the house…lotta sippy cups. (Where’s your colander, girl?)

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Kate Woods | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [11]

Kate in Australia has a little bucket full of tape and pens and “stuff” beside the sink, and drapes bags to dry them. She even saves plastic wrap (Glad Wrap).

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Betsy Lombard | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [12]

Fine artist Betsy from BetsyLombard.com [13]in Nevada City, Calif. simply dries them in the corner. Nuthin’ fancy needed! But…look below for her extra tweak…

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Betsy Lombard | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [14]

Now this, my friends, is a delux plastic bag holder, open at both ends with elastic at the top and the bottom, sort of like an air sock. Bags at the ready! Betsy’s husband’s Tennessee grandmother made it for her, and they call it…get this…a “pecker warmer.” I’ll wait for a second while you absorb that. Are you laughing? Because I am sophomoric, I will suggest an alternative alliterative name — how about “wienie warmer?”

Plastic Bag Washing Club member Jodie Eyeberg | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [15]

Jodie from Colorado Springs, CO turns them inside out to clean, and uses anything she has — including her faucet — to stand them up.
Plastic Bag Washing Club member Cassy Cohen Muronaka | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com [16]
Cassy Cohen Muronaka will wash out zipper-top bags on occasion, but ALWAYS washes out her FoodSaver vacuum sealer bags! “I love my vacuum sealer, and waved goodbye to frostburn the day I bought it,” she says.

Join the club!

Don’t forget: If you are like us and wash and reuse your plastic bags, please shoot s snapshot of your system. Send me a photo (Dorothy.Reinhold@gmail.com) of your plastic bags drying in your kitchen (or whevever you dry them), and I will post it, and make you an honorary member of the Plastic Bag Washing Club!