How To Reuse Plastic Bags And Bottles In Your RV

plastic bags stuffed - feature image for how to reuse plastic bags in your RV

Clever Ways To Reuse Plastic Bags & Bottles In Your RV

We live in a world that emphasizes single-use items. This is a simple truth and one that we all need to try to work around. Although many items (such as plastic bottles and grocery bags) are designed to be thrown away after a single use, many people have discovered how to reuse these items.

We tend to accumulate plastic bottles and bags in bulk, especially if you buy a lot of bottled water or forget your reusable bags at the grocery store. Although they can be reused for simple purposes like multi-use water bottles or trash can liners, many people have found unique and interesting ways to make these items useful again. 

Just remember that it’s usually a good idea to thoroughly wash your bottles and bags before you use them for anything else. Plastic is sometimes porous, so it absorbs things it has touched before. Give everything a good soak and rinse before repurposing them!

How to reuse plastic bags

Plastic bags are very easy to come by, especially if you frequently go grocery shopping. Common uses for these bags include trash can liners, dog poop bags, and storage for additional grocery bags. But with a little work and imagination, you can use them for so much more!

Preserve shoe shape during storage

As an RV owner, you can’t keep all your clothes and shoes out all year long. Some of them need to go into storage. Unfortunately, this can crush and deform some objects, such as shoes. Try stuffing a few plastic bags into your shoes to help them keep their shape during storage.

Protect exterior mirrors and windshield wipers

Ice is another major issue for RVers and car owners alike. If your windshield wipers get stuck or your mirror freezes over, you won’t be able to see much while you drive. Tie some plastic grocery bags around your side mirrors and windshield wipers to protect them from ice and snow. It’s an easy way to save time on an icy morning. 

Clean your RV showerhead

Showerheads can get nasty due to the buildup of hard water stains and soap scum. This is tough to clean by hand, so let a plastic grocery bag do most of the work! Just tie this around the showerhead with 1 cup of vinegar inside of it. Then turn on the water until the bag fills up. It’ll clean the showerhead for you.

Store wet items

Plastic bags are also waterproof, so they’re perfect for those wet and rainy days when your RV gets muddy. Keep some grocery bags by the door for people to place their umbrellas and muddy shoes in. These bags are also perfect for transporting wet swimsuits. 

Keep shoes clean

You can always keep your shoes/feet clean and dry by covering them up with plastic grocery bags. Just use some rubber bands to secure the bag and walk freely across dirty areas.

You can also do the reverse if you have nice clean floors and want people to keep their dirty shoes off of them. Plastic bags are neutral items that work for both situations.  

Pom pom light

Plastic bags can also be repurposed into fun lights! By shredding several bags and arranging them around a single point, you can create a fun decoration and light fixture. These are perfect as outdoor decorations because they can easily attach to string lights. 

Cover rising dough

Bakers know that it can be frustrating to deal with sticky cling wrap when you need to cover some rising dough. A plastic bag will reduce the hassle and still produce the same effect. Just place the bag over the bowl and secure it with a few rubber bands to make it airtight.  

Piping bag

If you need to decorate a cake but don’t have a good piping bag on hand, try using a plastic grocery bag instead! These are large and easy to fill, plus they can accommodate a piping tip as well as any other type of bag. Just make sure it’s a clean bag before you use it for this purpose. 

Woven bags, baskets, etc. 

Many people have discovered how to reuse plastic bags by shredding and weaving them. The fibers are strong, and you can sometimes find fun colors, so it’s perfect for a variety of knitted, crocheted, and woven crafts. Bags, baskets, and rugs are all popular choices for this medium. It’s fun, plus it cuts back on plastic waste


How to reuse plastic bottles

Plastic bottles are useful as water bottles or trash holders. You can wash them and use them multiple times, but many people don’t understand the true potential of these simple items. You can easily reuse them for a variety of crafts, decorations, and home improvement projects. 

Storage cases

Many of us could benefit from a small, clear storage container. Plastic bottles are perfect for this purpose! Just cut off the top portion and hot glue a zipper to either end of the slit. Now you’ve got easy storage for pencils, markers, and other office supplies.

Bag sealers

I often run out of twist ties and rubber bands to keep bags shut. This can be a real pain in the neck, but one way to reuse plastic bottles is to cut off the top and then screw it back together as a bag sealer. You just use the cap and connected opening to keep the bags shut tight.  


Slow feeder/pet enrichment

Some pets eat their food much too fast and need a way to slow down. You can create a slow feeder by cutting a small hole in the side of a plastic bottle. Then place some food or treats in these and let your pet roll it around until some food pops out. This is also great for pets who get bored and need a way to entertain themselves. 


It’s always fun to come up with new lighting options in an RV. There are lots of ways to reuse plastic bottles for this purpose. You can put tea lights inside them and cover them up with a decorative cover. Or you can cut the bottles into fun flower shapes to frame string lights!


Many people reuse plastic bottles to create a lovely little garden. You can let plants grow out of the top or place the bottle on its side and cut it horizontally to create an open planter. Or try putting some plants inside to form a little terrarium. 

Hanging storage

RVers are always looking for ways to increase storage. Old plastic bottles can be useful for this. Just cut openings in them and hang them up by the neck. This is perfect for small items like paperclips, tea bags, or even candy! Be sure to secure them or move them on travel day.

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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