Monday, 21 February 2011

Making Plarn

From the 1st January this year Italy has banned shops from giving out plastic bags. Shops can now give out only paper or biodegradable bags. This is a huge step for a country who was previously Europe's biggest consumer of plastic bags. I've been using canvas shopping bags for years however, there were often occasions where I forgot to take them with me and I'd have to use a plastic bag. I think it's fantastic that now I don't have that option. Either I take my own reusable bag or I have to use a paper bag.

Despite the ban I still seem to have quite a few plastic bags around the house from packaging or from shops who are still using up their stores of plastic bags. I decided I wanted to do something with all of this plastic rather than throwing it out.


From a google search I discovered 'plarn' or plastic yarn so I decided I'd try making some. You basically cut the plastic into strips, join them together and then you can use it to knit or crochet all sorts of things from pot scrubbers to handbags.


I've started to knit a pot scrubber. It's not very easy to knit, I think I made the plarn a bit thick and it's difficult to pull the plastic through, if you pull too hard the plastic breaks. However, I'm persevering and I should have a pretty durable pot scrubber when I'm finished.


What do you do with your plastic bags?


12 comments:

Louisa May said...

ooh well done you! I mostly use carrier bags as bin liners, not quite so creative as your idea!xxx

LindyLouMac said...

Very creative, I am still using the last of my stock of plastic bags for rubbish bags. The downside of this ban is that we will no longer have a free supply of bags for our rubbish will we! Although like you I use my own shopping bags it was always useful to have a free supply!

Tammy said...

good idea, but I use mine for trash too. Or for red cross donations.

Loree said...

I use mine for trash or to give stuff away. They banned plastic bags here about 2 years ago but I still have quite a stash in a box in our garage.

Fay said...

That's great to hear about Italy banning plastic bags given out in shops. I've not had a go at working with plarn but I was interested in the concept a while back and found this really inspiring lady who makes rather gorgeous bags from plarn: http://thoughtfulrose.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-need-new-bag.html

Good luck, can't wait to see how it turns out X

Boho Farm and Home said...

That is a great idea! I have a friend in Brasil that weaves rugs with those plastic bags. I like the pot scrubber idea. good job!

Melissa said...

It was major culture shock for me when I first started grocery shopping in France and had to bring my own bags, but I'm so glad they do it now. The US has to follow their example! The whole plarn concept is very interesting... who thinks of these things?

Tina said...

Yay you, Sarah!!! What a fabulous way to re-use the plastic bags!!! Our town unfortunately still has plastic bags....some are biodegradable, but not all:( We use sturdy canvas ones and I am going to crochet a shopping bag for when I just need to grab a couple of items. I LOVE your Plarn!!! Have a wonderful week ~ Tina xx

Sarahf said...

What a great idea! We use them for picking up the dog's business when we walk him, or as bin liners. Quite dull. Japan has a lot to learn about plastic bags. I bought bread yesterday and she tried to put in 2 bags. The cashiers also put anything non food in a separate bag, even if you've stated you don't need a bag. Irritating to say the least.

International Woman of Mystery said...

You are so good! I never know what to do with plastic bags (although in the US it's easy because you can bring them back to the store to recycle them). I'm sad to say that when I left Sweden, I just ended up throwing away a lot of bags! I even spent about 2 years recycling bags by using them for trash bags and making sure I always had my cloth bags with me at the store so I didn't collect more... But I still had to throw a lot away at the end! I'm proud to say that both in London and Boston I have managed to bring my own bags most of the time and therefore do not have too many plastic bags - the ones I have get used as trash bags.

Sara Louise said...

Fantastic idea! I might try the pot scrubber thing if I find myself with some plastic bags.

Stephanie said...

Thank you for the inspiration of the plarn! We are about to leave the US to return to Perugia and I had no idea what to do with all these plastic bags! x