Saturday, May 19, 2007

Crocheted and Recycled plastic bags

According to statistics at Reusable Bags.Com:

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.

As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.

Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.

According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].

Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

What a wonderful way to put our crochet skills to work for the earth by crocheting all the plastic grocery bags into a tote bag for, well, groceries etc.

San Francisco is the first city to ban the use of plastic grocery bags and this kind of crafting will definitely help out. I think I will buy a bag or two from Craftykathi and take them to our local Farmer's Market, so I can stuff the produce in there, without having to bag them in plastic.

The bag is easy to clean and will last for many years. Of course, it will save landfill and maybe ocean-floor or beach space because the plastic bags will not float around as trash.

The other bag I found interesting was the Eco-Organic bag for $6.95.

While we're in the subject of recycled bags, I found a couple more interesting one. There's Ecoist--they make the most colorful bags out of candy wrappers.

A Philippine women's coop makes totes from discarded Doy/Juice packs. And many more reusable bag ideas at

Oh, and if you want to crochet your own grocery tote bag out of yarn to rid yourself of the plastic grocery bags, there's a pattern that looks simple at Crochet Me that you would like to try.