Melbourne’s Community Learning how to Upcycle Plastics





Two months ago I wrote a post on community projects around the world that are reusing plastic bags and I commented on how I was about to start a community project here in Melbourne. Since then I have started two.  I want to share with you some of my thoughts on the experience.



The Fantastic Plastics is a weekly group that meets every Tuesday at that Brotherhood of St Lawrence Coolibah Senior’s Day Centre in Brunswick. Each session is very different!  Some 50 people have attended these past two months.  They come from, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Shri Lanka, New Zealand, Colombia, Egypt and of course there are Australians.  Even though the majority are elders, we had a group of people studying age care attend one session and on another occasion we had a visit from 15 teenagers, whom expressed they had never seen so many uses for a plastic bag.

 We are mainly learning techniques such as how to make Plastic Yarn, Weaving with cardboard looms, Fusing, Crochet, Knitting, and in this picture,  Monica from Pakistan is teaching me Macrame.

My most memorable  moments have been hearing comments from the participants such as “this is so important!” and “ I never thought I would get so excited about a plastic bag”.  I come out every week floating with gratitude and happiness from the opportunity to share with others and learn from them while doing something that has so much meaning to me.









I meet once a month with the Chinese- Hong Kong women’s association at the Grattan Community Gardens. Here the experience has been full of funny incidents but very rewarding in the kindness and abundance I receive from these women. There is one who always brings me Jewelry and I am also invited  to have lunch with them after each session. They bring along traditional dishes to share with the group  or as it happened last month I was invited to join them in a restaurant. I remember one morning when I was offered to try a typical dish from china. By the look of it, I was expecting something sweet, and when I bit into it, I was surprised by the taste of shrimp, not exactly my idea for a morning treat.  I had to adjust my expectations and then I was able to appreciate the flavors in the offering.  Not everyone speaks English but there is always a willing translator at hand. I have to admit that when everyone is speaking Chinese around me I feel like I am in another world. Maybe I will even learn some Chinese, how useful!
















learning from every experience…

I am learning and sharing many techniques that can be applied for Re-using Creatively many materials .  But without a doubt, most rewarding for everyone involved is just sitting together for a couple of hours talking about life experiences, our different cultures and that feeling that we belong to a community!

Here are some pictures of some of the things I am making with the new skills:

Plastics Crochet:
























Cloth Crochet: This is a rug I am making for a Friend’s newborn baby !






















Not quiet sure yet, what this next one is going to be … but I have found that Knitting with Plastic Bags is soothing and relaxing….











I recommend you try out all this techniques yourself! Happy Up-Cyling Plastics!

This entry was posted in Community, Life in Melbourne, Plastic Bags, Textures and Colors, Up Cycling Projects, Up-Cycling, What’s Up and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Melbourne’s Community Learning how to Upcycle Plastics

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