31 May 2008

Generous Journal: Mama's got a brand new bag

I did it! For months on end I've been working on a carrier bag knitted out of plastic bags. I actually started before Christmas and only finished it last night. Ain't it funky looking?

The pattern is called 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' and was found on the internet (but unfortunately the pages is now extinct). I don't know how useful it's going to be as a bag, but I think of it more as a statement - a surprising 18 bags went into the making of this, and they have all now been replaced by just one. It just goes to show how wasteful we are as a society (myself included - after all, the bags weren't donated to me!). Instead of carrying around one or two bags to reuse, we amass dozens of carrier bags, often very flimsy. There's one bag in there from Greggs that snapped whilst I was knitting it and I had to do a hasty repair job, it just shows you how these bags aren't built to last at all.

Also interesting to me was the amount of nasty dye used. Some bags were just white or transparent, but there were some that left my fingers all sorts of nasty colours (you can see a line of pink at the bottom, that was a T-Mobile bag and it made me look like I'd trapped my fingers in a door!). You've got to wonder whether those chemicals are really necessary, and what damage they could be doing in landfill.

So there we are, about six months work - a hopefully more durable bag than the sum of its parts, and a symbol of just how much we clutter up our lives unnecessarily.

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