Because of the lining that is required to keep coffee beans fresh, the whole bag is not recyclable. At least not in our municipal recycling program. But, there are a number of crafty ways to re-purpose them. The one I most often use is an idea I learned in a book called, “Eco Craft” by Susan Wasinger. This book has a number of other interesting ideas I have yet to try. I prefer to focus on the projects that create something from materials that we already have a good supply of. And a market bag that is a useful item is perfect. I’m not keen on decorating my house with a lamp shade made from six-pack rings, for example.
If your house consumes an average amount of coffee by grinding fresh beans, then it will not be too long before quite a pile of bags start to accumulate. Over time we have fine tuned our coffee selections so that we are now buying shade
grown, organic and fair trade brands. We even prefer that the roasting is done here on the West Coast, which is also widely available. And the bags tend to have great graphic design.
The only other thing you need, beyond the patience required to actually “craft”, is duct tape. Amazingly you can buy it in a full spectrum of colors now. So these bags could start to look very interesting. A word of caution about this kind of tape, it is incredibly sticky. There is a reason that men in my family have a roll of this at hand and can perform any number of vehicle repairs with it.
Because the tape is so strong, the finished product can hold as much weight as you want to carry. I never hesitate to load up these gift bags with bottles of wine, jars of canned goodies, local cookbooks, etc.
This market bag holds 3 bottles, so it is nice and tall. I took it over to my parents-in-law yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner, yum.