I Could Actually Make That!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I like to post the odd environmental invention, something that usually involves either re-appropriating garbage in a clever way, or selling something that causes less waste to be produced in the first place.

However, this video I came across is something that I could actually make myself! Apparently, these women came up with a simple, ingenious idea to reuse the hundreds of plastic bags people waste after doing their shopping. They found a way to crochet them into mats, which they donate to homeless people.


That actually looks like fun!

Now, luckily, the problem of plastic bags is not so dire here in Germany. The shopping bags people use are large, hardy and reusable, if they even use plastic shopping bags at all, and not those cloth carriers. I doubt I would purchase enough plastic bags in a year to be able to make half a mat.

However, in the States, I still see my family double bagging their shopping in those flimsy little plastic bags featured in the video, and then throwing them in the garbage once they get home. Next time I’m there, I’ve found myself a project!


  1. blf says

    Not entirely sure about Germany, but there has been a trend in Europe — originating (nation-wide) in Ireland — to charge for those flimsy plastic bags. In Ireland, as I now recall, the primary reason (this was back in c.2001) was the huge numbers found improperly discarded — basically, blowing across the landscape — unsightly and damaging. My memory is that within roughly a year of the introduction of charging, improperly disposed bags had dropped by something like c.60%.

    France, where I now live, has recently (this year?) introduced charges. I don’t know the details, as for decades now, I’ve been using rucksacks, panniers, and other essentially not-intended-to-be-discarded “permanent” bags, so have paid less attention to the use of disposables. You still get them “free” — notably for fresh foods (meats & fruits, e.g.) — but no longer automatically for every purchase.

  2. says

    Seattle banned the use of plastic bags some years ago. I’ve recently moved to another part of Washington State without the ban, and I am shocked at just how many of these are used. I rather like this idea.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    I remember an old lady in the 1980s in the village where my family had a summer cottage making rag rugs* out of plastic bags with a loom (probably a foot-treadle loom), making weft from the bags in similar way to the ladies in the video.

    We had one such rug in the cold vestibule/antechamber where shoes and boots were kept in the cottage.

    Of course, the crocheted ones require less investment on equipment.
    * = Finland is (or was) the country of rag rugs. I wouldn’t have any other kind on my floor except maybe in front of the outer door.

  4. kestrel says

    That’s pretty cool! I’ve done something similar, but with old worn-out T-shirts and a great big crochet hook I carved out of a broom stick.

    I love the idea of using those horrid plastic bags for something good. We’ve tried hard not to use them, we carry canvas bags (reminds me of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvnYIxv_364 LOL) but every now and then we end up with some, somehow. Now I know what to do with them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *