Friday, February 29, 2008

plastic vs plastic

In the last few years, my mother has drastically reduced her use of plastic bags. She’s not alone. There are many, many people doing their bit to prevent the environmental hazards caused by plastic.

Unfortunately, there are a lot more people out there making plastic bags. Factories worldwide belch out 4-5 trillion plastic bags every year (numerals would have looked more impressive but I was scared of scuffing the printing off my zero key).

Where do these bags go? A lot of them make their way into landfills, drains, the stomachs of animals and our oceans.

Luckily, as my friend Pepe showed me after a visit to the Philippines, some plastic bags go to work for a good cause. The tote he brought me (the one in the picture) is made of 18 snack packs rescued from landfills and stitched together.

Here are all the things I love about it.

The looks: I think the design is cool - kind of Warhol-ish and pop artsy! The unusual looks of the bag never fail to start a conversation.

The possibilities: Think of discarded plastic bags as raw material. It’s free. It’s everywhere. All you have to do is watch out for empty snack packs flying out of car windows and buildings, and grab them before the cows do. Voila! You have what you need to manufacture totes, coin purses, backpacks, lamp shades, car covers, umbrellas...

Plastic vs plastic: What I love most is the paradox! Here is a tote made of plastic bags that turns me against using more plastic bags. What could be more delightful?


  1. I know of somebody who's done the same with Lay's packets - made a sort of backpack out of it. He's a designer friend of a designer friend, and has plenty of such cool stuff stocked at his boutique in Hyderabad. You should drop by when you go there!

  2. and ash the great thing about these bags is that they are made by the street children...

    hey i linked yu...welcome to the blogosphere my friend...

    see, i told ya having one is no rocket science :)