‘This is actually so smart’

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If you’re conscious about your plastic usage, you’ve probably been annoyed by the plastic mesh bags sometimes used to contain bulk produce. Not only are they unavoidable if they hold the avocados, onions, and limes needed for the guacamole you’re making, but reusing them can be difficult. 

So, after freeing your produce and staring guiltily at the mesh bags, they eventually wind up in your garbage.

That is until you’ve learned about TikTok user Jenny’s (@jennylimmm) mesh bag upcycling hack.

The scoop

The hack is simple. All that’s needed are a few mesh bags and a rubber band or some other means to affix them together. Fold the first produce bag into itself until it creates a small ball of plastic mesh. Then, wrap the next mesh bag around it, creating a slightly bigger mesh ball. 

@jenlimmm

A trick I learned from my mum, the OG up cycler ✌🏽

♬ original sound – Jenny

Continue this process until all the mesh bags have been used. Lastly, loop a rubber band around the mesh ball to prevent it from unraveling.

The finished product? An upcycled dish scrubber.

“It’s not pretty,” says Jenny. “But upcycling your plastic is always a great thing.”

How it’s helping

Jenny’s right — upcycling is crucial in reducing the number of single-use plastics in landfills and oceans. 

About 90% of all single-use plastics are sent to landfills, and less than 10% are recycled. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the world generates about 440 million tons of plastic waste yearly, and 8 million tons of it wind up in our oceans.

Plastic sent to landfills can leach harmful, long-lasting chemicals into the ground. Meanwhile, plastic that winds up in our oceans disperses tiny microplastics, finding their way into marine wildlife and even the deepest parts of the ocean.

By upcycling, recycling, and utilizing reusable tools like bags, water bottles, and utensils, plastic pollution can be significantly reduced to better protect our planet. The simple act of switching to reusable water bottles would prevent an average of 156 plastic bottles from entering landfills and oceans. 

What everyone’s saying

Users were stunned by Jenny’s simple hack and applauded her creativity.

“This is actually so smart,” said one user.

“I never thought of that,” added another.

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