Projects: The Plastic Edition

A nice, short list, this one. Plastic is on all our minds lately (or it should be), and I want to do something more constructive, more joyful, than just adding to Australia’s recycling shame. Consider this a tonic for all the whales-dying-of-plastic-bag-ingestion stories.

1. I’ve been collecting plastic bottle tops for a few years now. Originally I thought I’d create a big mosaic-type mural with the kids at school. However the moment hasn’t come, yet, and as I’m spending so much less time there than in the past, it may not. Meanwhile, I discovered Precious Plastic, an idea so beautiful and revolutionary it takes my breath away. Sammie Vance is one of my heroes; in a frequently shitty world, the Nev House people make me want to weep with gratitude and joy. I want this so bad it hurts. I want to build my own equipment, oh my goodness yes I do, and bring it to the community; I’d build my own house with those tiles in a heartbeat; I lie awake wondering if I could somehow make a living from it. So now I hoard my precious plastic bottle tops and dream of a future where they might be useful and beautiful, an inspiration to others.

2. I started collecting those nasty string bags that onions come in, for no reason other than it seemed like they should be useful. I’ve never heard of any re-uses, though, other than Penelope Keith, who puts old soap scraps in them to wash her dog. (Good on you, Ms Keith.) Then it occurs to me that I can crochet them into a doormat. Colourful, strong, beautiful (and a quick, easy project to boot).

3. Plastic bag bags. There are some really lovely examples of using plastic bags, the disposable sort, to make stronger, lasting, and yes, beautiful, plastic bags. I look at sites like this and I sigh with lust. I don’t want to buy, though, I want to make. The kids and I have had one preliminary go and this is definitely something we can, and will, be doing in the future.

Can’t you just see yourself carrying your veg home from market in a carry bag made from this?

4. Bread-bag clips. Last October we camped at Adder Rock on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and as my daughter and I wandered around I started noticing bread-bag clips. They were everywhere around the BBQs. I couldn’t just leave them there for wildlife to swallow, or to put yet more microplastics into the soil, so I began collecting them. And one morning at the breakfast table I began arranging them and lo, it was pleasing. I can see them fused between layers of clear plastic to make a very funky bag…

What do you think? What do you do with your plastics? Don’t you think there has to be more to it than just waiting for some company to figure out how to turn a profit?