Single use Plastics are all over the Cities of the planet slowing drifting into the Oceans.
The only way to prevent them from ending up in the water currents swirling away in the Oceans of our Planet is by stopping them before they hit the water. We all have a responsibility to act now, first by drastically reducing the use of plastics; second, by doing Cleans ups. This is a great way for individuals and organizations to get involved. Hopefully more people will catch on to how one person can make a difference and that even if it is a small amount that you pick up, you are still doing GOOD for all of us.
If these Plastics were recycled the amount of plastic Litter would be reduced significantly! I am still amazed how most people fall into the Recycling Myth. The Plastic Industry has marketed very well the idea that a recycling symbol means that item is being recycled. The reality is that the symbol only means that it could be recycled, but it’s no guarantee that it is. We live in a World where recycling only occurs when there is money to be made, when there is a buyer of that commodity. Plastic Bags, Straws, Bottle Caps, light weight plastics are simply not profitable to recycle, so they aren’t! Our Planet and the innocent creatures that we share the planet with are paying the price for our modern society addiction to these single use plastics.
What can we do with all the plastic that is already out there? My proposal is to get CREATIVE, to REUSE it! The purpose of this blog is to share my experiments with these plastics with you. Hopefully It will get you thinking or just seeing with new eyes the potential of these materials. I love hearing of schools being built in Guatemala with PET Bottles. I am always investigating, searching, seeing what is being done around the world and I invite you to share your ideas with me too!
My approach with single use plastic is to simply bend down and pick it UP! After that If it is to disgusting I leave it in a rubbish bin, if it is still in good condition I take it home. I sanitize it by soaking it in a soapy water with a a bit of bleach for a couple of days. Then I let myself get inspired by the materials and used the skills I have discipline myself to learn whether it is weaving, sewing, jewelry making, or now my new area of interest: building sculptures!
I had not done sculptural work before coming to Melbourne. When I first arrived I had the opportunity to collaborate with LitterArty, a group of people interested in making a statement on plastic pollution through Art. Together we built the beautiful Galaxia fish in a billabong on Merri creek, a tributary to the Yarra river. There we witness first hand the huge amounts of Litter that has build up though years, and I learned a simple way of stringing the different plastic elements to make sculptures. Since then I have been experimenting and enjoying the process very much!
Since I am always on the look out for learning new ways of approaching these materials, I jumped at the idea of attending an aboriginal basket weaving workshop at the Koorie Heritage Trust, a not-for-profit Aboriginal community that protects, preserve and promote the living culture of Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australia.
It was a wonderful experience, the people there where so amazing! They have a wonderful exhibition of baskets made by aboriginal from Tasmania and it is worth taking a look at! The workshops are running for a couple of more weeks. They are very affordable 15$ a day, with a sumptuous morning and afternoon coffee provided! My Instructor was Bronwyn Razem from the Gunditjmara tribe and the Kirrae Whurrong Clan and I am very thankful to her for sharing this ancient wisdom with us!
I have always appreciated the beauty of baskets and for many years I have bought from a the diverse range of Indigenous cultures still present all over Latin America, mainly from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru. I learned two techniques , and I was very surprised to recognize as the ones I had seen so often in Latin America. They are universal. I also confirmed how the act of weaving in the presence of a circle of women is so comforting. Now I want to explore these new skill by weaving with plastic bags and I will share what I make in a later Post. This picture is the basket I made In this wonderful workshop, isn’t it beautiful?