Life of a plastic bag
Plastic bags have incredibly short and unsatisfying lives. They blossom into usefulness for mere moments, reaching the peak of life and function when they are called upon to transport groceries from the checkout till to your cupboards at home. It’s entirely possible that their sole purpose is to ensure the safe passage of a box of cornflakes a couple hundred feet- and thats assuming you did not get a particularly nice parking spot at the shop.
Once they have delivered their goods, they are tossed aside with aspirations of one day being called upon again, but the truth is the chances are slim. Beyond rising to the task of bathroom garbage bin liner or carrying bag for dinner-guest leftovers, most plastic bags are stuffed into dark corners of homes until they overwhelm the owner and end up either in a landfill or adding to the Texas-sized-garbage-island in the North Pacific.
In the town where I live grocery stores still give away plastic bags with groceries, and despite making an active effort to keep a figurative lid on my plastic bag collection I still have a shameful stash of bags hidden away in the pantry. A couple times a year, my stash has to be culled and I am reminded of our collective preference for ‘shiny and new’ and general perspective on re-using resources.
Plarn, as in plastic bag yarn, serves as a welcome way to both upcycle these bags and make a personal and environmental commitment.
The door handle is the last thing I reach for before heading off to collect my weekly goods and a cosy will help ensure that I am not mindlessly reaching for more plastic bags through that act.
Any plarn project can serve as a mindful reminder of
a) the journey of all goods- a placemat may serve both delicious meals and an appreciation for the resources that went into delivering the ingredients or
b) the ability to draw on your own resources- a door mat may serve as a reminder that creativity solves all problems, for which you have all the resources.
While these plastic bags will eventually find their way to a landfill I am hopeful they’ll serve as barriers to more coming through my doors.
Perhaps I’ll plarn (vs yarn) bomb my local grocer and hope to plant little plastic seeds of environmentalism in my fellow townsfolk!
If you’re feeling plarny check this out for a how to make your own plarn: