"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What you probably didn't know about plastic bags

I've been browsing the web this afternoon - too hot to do much else - and I've come across some things that fit right into my recycling nature.

Plastic bags - if you do any shopping at all, you know that these just seem to multiply. We even use them for doggie pick-up bags, but there are always more. I take them to the recycling boxes around town too.

Did you know:

that plastic bags are a petroleum product and, hence, increase our dependence on oil?

that 500 Billion to 1 Trillion(! ) of these are used worldwide each year?

that 100 Billion are used annually in the US alone?

that only 2% are recycled in the US and only 1% worldwide?

that it takes 450 to 1000 years for plastic bags to break down?

that it costs $.17 in San Francisco to "handle" each discarded bag, i.e. litter?

There's lots more unnerving information, but I think I've got your attention. So, PLEASE, recycle these things or, better yet, buy some earth-friendly reusable bags and take them with you every time you shop.

Now here are two women I found that are reusing plastic bags very creatively by upcycling them into handmade handbags! Check out this store in Milwaukee, Paper Boat, which features the crocheted purses of Cara Taylor. You can find out more about them and purchase them online at Cara Taylor Handbags here. And this gal, Kristin J, is doing the same thing, but knitting the bags. It takes about 50 bags to make each purse, so that's 50 more kept out of our landfills. (Disclaimer: I don't know either artist nor do I profit from this - I just find it very interesting!) And, if you send 50 colored bags to Cara (see more info on her site), she will make you a small change purse for free!

Here's another creative gal - and she's still a teenager to boot! She made her prom dress out of 101 recycled Skittles wrappers - and it's actually pretty cute! You can read about it and see photos here. Watch out "Project Runway" - this girl is creative!

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