Odds are with the new 5p fee for using plastic bags kicking in in October, you will find yourself with lots more paper bags in your home.  If you are a cat owner, you already know that paper bags are among a cat’s favourite place to hide and explore.  However on the off chance that you have too many to keep your cats occupied, here are five ways to use them:

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  1. Composting

Paper bags are a major aid in composting.  Deposit your compostable material in the paper bags. When you are ready to add the material to your compost pile don’t throw away the bag; simply tear it into a few medium sized strips and place on top of the new material. Paper bags degrade really quickly and are perfect for composting.

  1. Ripen Fruits

Bananas, kiwifruit, pears, mango and avocados do not begin to ripen until they are picked. If the one available at the market are not as ripe as you would like, placing them in a paper bag will speed the process. The paper bag increases the level of ethylene gas, but is porous enough to allow some fresh air to get in and out.

  1. Keep Mushrooms Fresh

You can keep your mushrooms fresher longer by placing them in closed paper bag and putting the bag on the bottom shelf or the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.  If you feel you need to wash the mushrooms before placing them in the bag make sure they are completely dry first.

  1. Keeping Your Garden Weed Free

Paper bags work as well as the much more expensive garden fabric at keeping your garden weed and grass free.  Simply surround your plants with a full bag and cover with a layer of soil.  In addition to keeping the weeds at bay, the bag will completely disintegrate over the course of a couple of months.

  1. Express Yourself

If arts and crafts are more your style, paper bags can give you a new medium to explore. One of the more popular ways to use them is to weave small baskets. Most paper bag craftsmen rely strictly on tucking, folding and weaving to complete their tasks. The resulting baskets are actually very strong and can be used to take baked treats to the office or a gathering, fruit bowls, or whatever else you fancy. Best of all they are completely disposable and biodegradable.

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