Sustainability | Ecotrope

A creative solution to plastic bag pile-ups

Ecotrope | Sept. 13, 2011 7:45 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:35 p.m.

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Ifanyi Bell reports for OPB’s Arts and Life on a Portland artist who weaves plastic bags into remarkable – and functional – works of art. As Bell notes, artist Fujiyo Oe has her own small-scale solution to the plastic bag problem: Turning everyday, less-than-classy plastic shopping bags into artsy, one-of-a-kind woven handbags.

“Using a method similar to crochet, Oe painstakingly cuts, shapes and weaves plastic bags into stylish accessories like purses, wallets, cellphone carriers and and even wine bottle cozies. The larger handbags can take up to three months to make from beginning to end.”

With Portland’s plastic bag ban launching in mid-October, Oe isn’t worried about finding a supply of plastic bags. They will still be available in other towns throughout Oregon, in local pharmacies and farmer’s markets, and in her native country.

“I get a lot of my bags from Japan, actually. They have many different colors there. My friends know that I need them, and they don’t have a ban there and they bring them to me,” says Oe. “My apartment is full of plastic bags.”

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