Over the past few weeks I have made a pile of "earth friendly" shopping bags as an alternative to the plastic that is offered to us in most shops. These are my (so called) "artistic" offering for the SouthBank Arts Trail this year. The work stems from my desire to do my tiny little bit for our tired abused planet and is part of the aspirations set out in my 50 before 60 birthday manifesto. It also means that I have to become better informed about the environmental impact of plastic on the planet and, indeed, the environmental impact of making bags from commercially produced fabrics.
To this end I have been looking at plasticbagfree.com the website of Modbury in South Devon, where all the town's traders have committed to being plastic bag free. The campaign is inspired by Rebecca Hosking a wildlife film-maker who has seen for herself the damage that discarded plastics are doing to marine animals. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there, but particularly relevant to me is her warning that the alternatives to plastic bags are not necessarily environmentally friendly either.
I can’t guarantee the environmental credentials of all the fabrics I have used, but all the bags are made from remnants, offcuts or recycled clothes/bedlinen which has to be a tiny step in the right direction.