“Sausages” for the Boat

Recycle for Use on the Boat

My how things change! It wasn’t long ago (only weeks) when we were all getting used to the idea of reusable bags at the grocery stores or pay 5 cents a bag for plastic. Now, I am told “you can’t use reusable bags anymore due to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

So, we’re back to the old habit of accumulating all those plastic bags; but, instead of us paying for them, they are offering them free. As a result, we have quantities of all those plastic bags again and can get back to recycling them.

What an opportunity for boaters!

Many boaters were reusing their plastic grocery bags for garbage bags in the head and galley on the boat. They were the perfect size and had hand holds that doubled as tie straps. Now we can use them again.

The grocery bags (and box store bags) are perfect, because they are strong and just the right size to line a small pail or hang on a door handle on the boat using one of the bag handles to tie a using a simple overhand knot. When full, they are easy to tie using the two handles. You can squash out the air to reduce the size of the garbage and the air in the bag. Then, put into a larger garbage bag in the cockpit or somewhere else out of the cabin, that will go to the dumpster later. The tied bags keep all the smell contained and are neat and tidy.

The only problem with the plastic grocery bags, is the space they take up in a locker on the boat. To solve this problem, I am back to making “sausages” by recycling the plastic grocery bags and I will probably have enough for the whole summer.

Making Sausages

Rolling the bags into “sausages” only takes a few minutes to create a supply of them. A twist tie or an elastic wrapped around the “sausage” will keep it’s small shape until ready for use.  These “sausages” can be stuffed in cupboards or drawers just filling in the spaces between items, but not really taking up any space at all. They are handy for handling the garbage, simplifying that unpleasant task which can be done in minutes by anyone on board. Handling garbage becomes automatic and not a chore or topic of negative conversation. Because you have carefully selected clean grocery bags without holes, to make sausages, you always know you have a good bag to use that hasn’t had questionable contents previously.

“Sausages” are also useful for so many other things. Take a few with you in your pocket or bag when going on a hike, a dinghy outing, or a swim. You instantly have a bag to create dry storage for cameras, towels, sun glasses etc. or for wet storage of bathing suits and towels etc. after a swim.

There are so many uses.

To make a sausage, flatten the bag on the kitchen counter where you have lots of space to work.

“Sausages” ready for use on the boat
  • Push out all the air from the bottom to the top of the bag.
  • Fold in half and in half again
  • Push more air from the bottom of the bag
  • Roll from the bottom to the top pushing out any remaining air.
  • Wrap with a twist tie or elastic

This only takes seconds, they are easy to store and have a myriad of uses on your boat, car, even at home or in your purse when going shopping. You can view the video above to see how easy it is to make dozens of sausages while visiting with a friend or watching a TV show or listening to the news.

Have fun recycling your used grocery bags into “sausages” .

For more boating tips, check out First Mate 101.

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