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Plastic Bag Solutions

Plastic bags, as horrible for the environment as they are, seem to still be everywhere.

Many grocery and retail stores continue to use them, and even though they may get recycled once you bring them home they can also seem to multiply around the house.

Efforts to keep them from ending up as part of the landscape are key, but if you have a hand for crafting there are also plentiful cool projects to do with surplus plastic bags.

CraftingaGreenWorld has 10 splendid plastic bag conversions. Unexpected things like placemats, beads and even crinkle toys can be created using plastic bags. Making plarn, or plastic bag yarn, is resourceful and can be used to make a variety of items if you know a bit of knitting and weaving basics.

ArtistsHelpingChildren.org also has a section devoted to crafts made from plastic grocery bags. There are tutorials for tons of holiday crafts, as well handy things like rugs and pet leashes. For the style inclined, there is enough material on this site to produce an entire perfect for dress-up outfit. Complete with accessories like hats, belts and hair ties, you can even make braided clothes hangers to drape them on and closet pockets to put them in.

Recycled plastic bags can also be turned into functional totes and purses. These are durable, waterproof and can be simply designed or remarkably intricate. Though it may take some practice to produce a posh one, to learn watch this how-to video featuring a manager from the West African Njau Recycling and Income Generating Group. Women involved in this fair trade venture take plastic bags and upcycle them into carry-all’s.

For more evidence that inventive things really can be made from these pliable, trashy treasures, take a look at Virginia Fleck’s art. She has been producing entirely with recycled plastic bags for over a decade and her mandalas and public art displays are incredible. These colorful plastic pieces provoke ecological reflection, and it is hard to believe they are made using only plastic bags.

This one abundant material can be turned into infinite designs and all for virtually no money. By taking available materials and adding some creativity, inspiration is in the bag.

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