Photo © Liesl Clark
Although we most often bake our own or purchase locally baked plastic-free bread from our local baker, there is the occasional store-bought bread that comes in a plastic bag (recyclable at most grocery stores, if clean) with a hard plastic clip to keep it shut. These clips might also make their appearance on produce bags. Some call them bag clips, others bag tags. They’re made of hard plastic and as of yet we know of only one address in the US where you can send them, where they’re stockpiled and sold to help wheelchairs get to South Africa where they’re needed. So, if you’ve collected them over the years, please send them to this address here.
Did you know that over 20 cases of accidental ingestion of plastic bag clips have been published? The incidence are so detrimental to health that a team of researchers have classified in the British Medical Journal “morphology” chart the many varieties of bag clips, in an effort to determine which ones are most dangerous to the digestive tract and which designs are more benign. Don’t swallow them, or you might become yet another statistic for this study.
We do have a few bread clips saved in some drawers, mostly for reuse. Here are a few of the ways we’ve used them in our home?
1) Reuse to seal other bags (yep, it’s obvious but I had to list it so you don’t throw them away.) We store our bread in a bread box, to keep it plastic-free. But, occasionally we’ll need to pack it in plastic when we go camping. Bread clips come in handy then.
2) Label your spare keys with them!
3) Place on the end of tape, like duct tape and masking tape, so you don’t have to spend time peeling the tape off itself.
4) Use them as earbud tamers to store those earbuds and prevent the inevitable tangles.
Photo: Jake Ducey
5) Use them as counter scrapers for hard-to -scrape -off crud. Same for pots and pans.
6) Use to hold together all your rubber bands in your everything drawer.
7) Make a cool cereal box and bread clip abacus by following this tutorial provided by Almost Unschoolers!
8) Use your bread clips to organize and label your desk and entertainment cables.
9) Make bread clip monsters like these at Crafts by Amanda.
10) Make bread clip snowmen a la Crafts by Amanda, and impress your housemates.
11) Use as a bookmark.
12) Use to replace missing game pieces. A bread clip avatar for monopoly could be quite imposing if you put a scary business face on it.
13) Make a bread clip monster garland. Cute.
14) Use as wine glass identifiers for a party. Multicolored bread tags, or ones you’ve added faces to, work well to differentiate your guests’ glasses. Just clip ’em to the stem of the glass.
15) Write the letters of the alphabet on 26 bread clips and let your child put them in order.
16) Make some cute bread tag earrings.
17) Make bread clip gingerbread men!
18) Use them to hold hair ties in the bathroom.
19) Learn how to make a robot necklace from Mich L in LA.
20) Make some more fine jewelry.
21) Here’s a pendant for some more ideas.
22) Use them to hold your twist ties in your reusable grocery bag for bulk items. I reuse these twist tie bulk food labelers, so having them in a bundle helps keep track of them when I’m in the bulk department.
23) Flip flop about to blow out? Use a bread tag on the bottom to hold the little end in place for a quick reinforcement fix.
24) Make a bread clip shower curtain (ok, I know you won’t, but it’s an interesting and artful idea.)
25) For some fun bread clip robot reprintables, please visit Mich L in LA’s blog, which is an inspirational site for repurposing our “trash” into artful creations.