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My neighbourhood grocery stores will all be charging for plastic bags in April. This trend to reduce non-compostable plastic bag usage is gathering momentum everywhere ever since San Francisco became the first North America city to promote alternatives. In June 2009, a new Toronto bylaw will force all retailers to charge for plastic bags. However many people think a national ban like that in China is unlikely here. Whilst plastic bags are useful for many things beyond carrying your shopping, their excessive use clog our landfills. By charging for their use, the hope is consumers will realise bags are not really free and there is an environmental cost to this convenience.

A number of jewelry artisans have risen to the recycling challenge. Their creative talents reuse the humble plastic bag in some of the most innovative jewelry items I have seen.

1.Arnym's Shop on Etsy makes really funky grocery bag earrings and brooches . Not shown is her grocery bag necklace. This Virginia based artisan points out that it takes 1000 years to break down a plastic bag in a landfill.

2. British designer, Anna Roebuck wants so much to educate people on the 3 R's - recycle, reuse and reduce waste - so much so her entire income comes from her business Bags2riches. Her earring collection (above left) takes advantage of the different patterns and colours found in plastic shopping bags.

3.Garbage of Eden on Etsy lives up to her store's name for she makes the most colorful and fun bangles I have ever seen. They are made from twisting plastic bags around plastic bangles. This New York based artisan even lists the source of the different colors - for example, the blue ones are made from NY Times newspaper bags, the red ones come from Chinatown!

Want to have a go? Then check out Gooseflesh's tutorial on how to make plastic bag yarn to get started. For a complete necklace, check out Instructable's Grocery Bag Jewelry tutorial.

Via , Via and Via

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. One of the girls I used to work with brought in a small purse her daughter made out of plastic grocery bags. I am forever amazed at the ingenuity of people!

  2. How cool is that! I like those bangles and have to check out the tutorials. Recently I had a discussion about jewelry made from recycled items. We were talking about sea glass and that making sea glass jewelry is a kind of recycling, too.

  3. Nice! I usually forget to bring my totes to go grocery shopping but i am working on it! Going to do my part in helping :)

  4. Our local grocery store give you 5 cents back for each reusable bag you bring in to pack your groceries. But like Joyce, we often forget to bring them.
    I like the examples you've shown.

  5. My friend Sara was just telling me about the making your own yarn from plastic bags. Weird. :)

  6. I've seen jewelry like this before -using plastic bags. What an interesting concept. Our local grocery store supplied it's top customers with mesh type reusable bags. For exclusively the purpose of reducing the use of plastic. I love them and it works for long as we remember to bring them in from the car. : -) Thanks for sharing this Pearl.

  7. Thank you so much for including my work.

  8. That's really interesting. This is the first time I've seen jewellery upcycled from plastic bags.

    It's funny though, I grew up in South Africa and I used to see loads of stuff made from plastic bags, from bath mats to baskets when I was a kid.

    It's really nice to see such a humble material being used for making such pretty things.

  9. I took another detour back in time (a bit) to read this post. It is good that stores and people are being more conscientious of plastic bags. Used to be one could see them scattered all over the landscape, in gutters, clinging to a tree branch, piled up in corners where the wind has blown them for safe keeping. But lately I've noticed less of these stray bag eyesores around, so hopefully the store campaigns are working.

    After viewing the video that you've posted about making the plastic bag yarn, my interest is piqued...Oh no, not again, not another new craft to try?...but gee I already have a collection of crochet hooks...hmm, now all I need are some thin plastic bags.


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