My Shameless Addiction to Plastic

I have a confession to make. There are plastic bags stashed all over my house. I must have hundreds. It’s become a bit of an addiction. Someone call Hoarders, because I just can’t seem to let go— I have to have plastic bags in my life. I mean, we are at the point where I am raiding the plastic bag recycle bin at MOM’s just so I can have more!

That said, there is an upside to my recent obsession that helps the environment and feeds my creativity at the same time. I recently discovered the joys of creating objects made with “plarn”… otherwise known as plastic yarn made out of those pesky plastic shopping bags. As a fiber artist, I am constantly looking for new material to explore… and when my dad gave me some bags crocheted of plarn a while back, I knew that we were onto something big. They are beautiful and durable and well, you actually have to tell people what they are made of as the appearance conceals the origin of the material!

It took me a bit to figure out how to create my own plarn and subsequent projects. Finally, I stumbled across this great website. Eureka! My first couple of exploits have been small and humble, yet I am already finding fun ways to use this material and the joy of being able to manipulate color and composition by varying the types of bags and stitches used. So far, two little pot scrubbers have been born (each using up about 10 bags!) and a basket is in progress. In the basket (shown below), the spacing of different bag colors creates regular and interesting shifts in the pattern.

I am past the point of no return. So here I sit, hopelessly addicted to plastic, loving that I am finding a way to simultaneously help protect the Earth and nourish the creative spirit. This is what life is all about.

Fair warning: if you see a gleeful MOM’s employee rummaging through the recycle bins one day, muttering about color and such, please do not be alarmed. In fact, come on over and I will happily give you a quick lesson in plarn crochet.

Elizabeth works at MOMs Alexandria.

About ElizaMac

I am a knitter, spinner, weaver, mixed-media-er, etc living just outside of DC. I am a native Oregonian who moved here by way of Alaska, so the culture shock is pretty extreme at times (even after three years), but I’m taking it all in stride. I suppose if I could could just one phrase to define me, it would be that I love all things fluffy and twisted…
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5 Responses to My Shameless Addiction to Plastic

  1. Charis says:

    Awesome! Plus, you know that that plarn handbag will last forever, guaranteed! I wonder how long it would take to make plarn plastic bag recycling bins for all of MOM’s stores?!

  2. Scott says:

    Are the potholders heat resistant?

    Would be cool if some of this stuff was sold at MOM’s! 😉

  3. Michael says:

    I get what you’re doing and it’s commendable in the ‘better than nothing’ sort of way (i.e., better than landfills), since the cessation of plastic bag production doesn’t seem to be on the horizon–alas, what else can a few enlightened people do amongst what typically appears to be 7 billion others?

    Hey, anyone concerned about eliminating plastics should check out this site for quality (though pricey) steel/glass/wood/natural fabric products:

  4. Pingback: My New klean kanteen Stainless Steel Waterbottle » Recipe Food Blog

  5. Mike Strauss says:

    Houston we have a big problem! Plastic is eating our world and the government does not know what to do! Don’t get me wrong I love the many uses for plastic but I hate disposable plastic junk. It’s alright as long as it’s a durable item that can be readily recycled but are society is more prone to toss it and create giant pyramids of trash that is leaking toxic residues into our ground water all the time. what to do what to do….

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