Posts Tagged ‘plastic bags’

Women of Minyore

Monday, May 21, 2012

Over the weekend, AfriGadget shared this wonderful short documentary by the Kenya-based Dutch journalist Ruud Elmendorp on trashpicking craftswomen near Nakuru.

The women, including Lucy Wambui, featured in a video and report on Elmendorp’s site, collect plastic bags from the dump and weave them into marketable goods. In an area of the world ravaged by poverty, HIV, domestic abuse and drug addiction, these women are bettering their lives and educating the next generation on the income they earn selling recycled plastic. Lucy, for example, pays her grandson’s school fees with part of her income.

I find this piece particularly compelling because I have been to Nakuru, spent the night in the national park for which the area is famed and even spent a night in town without ever crossing paths with a community of trashpickers. Elmendorp’s shot of the dump site with flamingo lake in the background beautifully illustrates the contrast between the two worlds. It reminds me of this photo, which I shared here in 2010, taken from the shore of the same lake.

Lake Nakuru

How different the planet appears from the other side of the looking glass.

Claudia Borgna

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Little Shiva over at The Visible Trash Society features Claudia Borgna today, an artist whose primary medium is your every day plastic bag. I urge you to take some time to peruse Borgna’s website because her manipulation of these items is extraordinary.Be sure to check out images of her nature installations—billowing bags tied to resemble flowers, pods and other-worldly orbs—and dreamy performance pieces like the one pictured here.

Claudia Borgna

In her statement, the artist describes:

I find plastic bags interesting because of their remarkable contradictory qualities. Plastic bags are in fact both worthless and useful, disposable and recyclable, flimsy and strong, ephemeral and eternal, but above all they are universal.

Thanks, Little Shiva, for this special find.

Plastic bag batteries

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Scientists have come up with yet another way to upcycle plastic bags, this time into nanotubes that can be used to make batteries. According to Discover magazine, however, it’s a pricey process.

It involves an expensive catalyst in cobalt acetate, which is not easily recovered, to convert the high or low-density polyethylene (HDPE and LDPE) into carbon nanotubes. But if the nanotubes are then used to make lithium-ion or lithium-air batteries, that might overcome this problem, since these batteries are already recycled at the end of their use to recover cobalt.

Click here for more on how to make a nanotube. Or watch this video from Stanford.

Reblog: 12 Amazing Objects Made From Plastic Bags

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Check out this Treehugger slideshow. My favorite are these Peruvian shoes, which I saw for the first time on Art for Housewives.

Plastic bag shoes by Camila Labra

On Henry Hudson and plastic bags

Friday, August 7, 2009

For the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson‘s accidental discovery of the greatest city on Earth, Kathy Ryan, director of photography for The New York Times Magazine has curated a show up now at the Museum of New York City of contemporary Dutch artists asked to update their classical tradition. Behold: The. Very. Best. One.

Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam and Robert Mann Gallery via

Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam and Robert Mann Gallery via

It’s called “Bag” and is one of several  Hendrik Kerstens‘ portraits of his daughter on exhibit.

I humbly suggest that this become a traveling show, because I can think of no more logical future for this collection of works than a sojourn at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schipol.

Thanks for the tip, Alexandra!

Ride the Subway

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Remember Joshua Allen Harris‘ adorable air bear, air giraffe and eclectic air zoo? If the plastic bag polar bears in this Ad Council bit aren’t Harris’ work, they are based directly on it. It looks like air animals have gained an even more overt political voice—promoting public transport—than the obvious and embedded message (don’t litter).

I discovered this clip over on GreenMuze while browsing for more photos of the fabulous giant orange recycled bunnies I’d seen on Olympia Dumpster Divers this morning. Check them out.

The Big Rabbits in Portofino, Italy via GreenMuse

The Big Rabbits in Portofino, Italy via GreenMuse

Botas Dacca

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
fused plastic boots

fused plastic boots

In two-plus years of garblogging, I’ve seen my share of fused plastic craft projects.  I have to say, though, that these rockin little boots by Chilean designer Camila Labra are some of the cutest.  Her label is called Dacca and boasts a range of styles from fun polkadots to the obligatory upcycling of Target bags.  My favorites are these green two-tones—found via the spectacular Art for Housewives.

These might look hot with a customized messenger bag.

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