International Plastic Bag Free Day

Today is the International Plastic Bag Free Day!

I try to avoid using plastic bags whenever possible, especially when shopping. In Germany there´s a long tradition of using so called environmental bags usually made from cotton fabric. Admittedly there were are lot of people giving you the odd glance when you were using those in the 90´s of the last century, but nowadays it fortunately has become more and more accepted.

I have been using them for years now, first ones that you could buy at any supermarket (those were quite hideous to be honest), then I started making my own. In order to encourage all my friends and family to use them too, I always make some of those bags as Christmas gifts.

And because I want them to really use them (and not merely stuff them into the next cupboard), I make sure to individually choose the prints and colors I know they like. 🙂

Here are some examples of the bags I made recently:

 

P1100298

Handmade environmental bag, totally plastic free, twice hemmed for extra durability at the seams, organic cotton fabric, with extra long straps so you can carry it over the shoulder and a little inside pocket, 2017.

P1100302

Handmade environmental bag, totally plastic free, twice hemmed for extra durability at the seams, organic cotton fabric, with extra long straps so you can carry it over the shoulder and a little inside pocket, the tiny decorative buttons are made from wood, 2017.

P1100304

…and you can also turn it inside out if you prefer them less flashy.

P1110574

Handmade environmental bag, totally plastic free, twice hemmed for extra durability at the seams, organic cotton fabric, with extra long straps so you can carry it over the shoulder and a little inside pocket, the tiny decorative buttons are made from wood, 2017.

 

This is just my small contribution to a world that contains less plastic, and I actually think, that everyday should be Plastic Bag Free.

What are your thoughts to that? Do you try to avoid plastic bags?

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69 thoughts on “International Plastic Bag Free Day

  1. Do my best to avoid plastic bags! But here (Norway) shopping organic fruit and veg means everything is packed in plastic! I guess 95% of our garbage (sans compostables) is plastic packaging. Everything is in plastic, it’s wildly frustrating. But I use my own bags…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That really sounds frustrating. And quite illogical if you ask me but I saw the same thing happening in Spain too, though it´s been some time now and maybe they´ve changed that. Here (in Germany) organic fruits and vegs are almost always unpacked. But there´s still lots of plastic around which frustrates me at times, you really can´t avoid it even if you try.
      Thanks so much for your interesting comment! Have a lovely day! Sarah 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I use plastic, but recycle them…some I use as small trash bags in my house, and the others put in my recycling container, along with plastic bottles, aluminum and tin cans, and paper, that the city picks up. I tried bringing my own grocery bags, but I forgot to take them in the store most of the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Plastic, so not fantastic it hurts. Hurts our world, our co-inhabitants and ultimately ourselves. So yes, I avoid it wherever I can. I have a basket which I use for my shopping and a hessian bag (sturdily sewn) if I need to carry more. Fortunately here no-one bats an eyelid at anything you put your shopping in but I do like to think that both my carriers have a certain retro-chic air to them 😉. Your bags are fabulous …. all adorable but I must say I love the flowers most of all 🌺 xxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Osyth! One of the flower bags was actually for my mum who is also very fond of flower prints (like me). I need to make her a new one every 2 years because she really loves to use them and although they´re still up to the job they begin to fade somewhat after all that time 😉
      I love baskets for shopping, even tried to make some myself some time ago and had the most of fun with it! And I´m sure you look très chic with it and that hessian bag 🙂
      Wish you a very lovely day! xxxxxxxxx 💕🌹

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Iris! 🙂
      Are there similar trends in Australia? Or is plastic still widely used? I would so love to know about it 🙂 My impression is that you guys are much more sensitive to nature, just read an article about how they plan to save the Great Barrier Reef and it´s so inspiring.
      Wish you a very lovely day! 🙂 ❤ 🐨

      Liked by 1 person

      • Certain states in Australia have their own environmental laws… majority have gone environmentally friendly, Sarah. Yes, these issues can be very controversial… but we hope our flora and wildlife will be kept for people to enjoy and appreciate! Thanks and you have a great week too!! 🌺 🌻 ⛱

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that, Iris! It´s always lovely to learn more about Down Under – my main source so far a books like “Down Under” by Bill Bryson (one of my favorites) and movies. There´s not a lot of news coverage concerning your part of the world here in Germany, and I think I will start looking into it more, the BBC might be a good start…
        Wish you beautiful weekend, my dear friend! 🙂 ❤ 🐨🌺

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I rarely use plastic bags. When I do, I recycle them, but they always hang around my house for a long time before I manage to take them to the collection site. I much prefer my cloth bags (though not nearly as cute as yours). Even if it weren’t for environmental factor, I’d prefer them because they can carry so much and I can just sling them over my shoulder. It’s awfully convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That´s still a good thing when you reuse those plastic bags, many people don´t. The only time I use – a very worn 😉 – plastic bag is when it´s raining and I plan a trip to the local library – don´t want the books to get wet! 😉 But the rest of the time it´s my cloth bags as well, even when I shop for clothes, the assistants still look a little puzzled when I pull it out of my handbag but so far I received only positive feedback. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are beautiful Sarah, and such a brilliant gift idea. I noticed a sign recently in a small town advertising weekly sewing sessions to make reusable bags. From memory, someone from the Green Party had organised fabric donations and for local shops to take the finished bags, and a sewing group was getting together to make them. They were encouraging people to come along and get involved. I was so impressed by the idea: an environmental YES plus a great social activity to bring people together. Win; win.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Su! Coming from you that means a lot to me! 🙂
      Wow! That´s a wonderful thing that´s been organized there – I would love to do something similar here as well. Maybe I can bring it up at the school where I give my pottery classes, I think it would be worth a try and things always have to start somewhere even when it´s small. 🙂 Not sure how the kids will do though, most of them haven´t stitched, crotched or knit anything in their life before 😉

      Like

  6. Those are nice bags! I try to use reusable cloth bags for my shopping, although sometimes I forget and leave them in the car. And don’t figure it out until I’m checking out, which is frustrating. At those times, I tell them not to bag anything that has any size and a handle, and I save the bags I do use to recycle.
    But where I do use plastic bags on a regular basis is picking up dog poop from the shelter dogs I walk. We have to do it, and can’t leave dog poop all over the grounds, but I do hope they come up with an environmentally friendly version some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ann! 🙂
      Totally understand the plastic bags when it comes to dog poop – and actually wish people around here would use them!! There are many free dog bag dispensers in town but most people just don´t use them 😦
      I´ve read not so long about a plastic replacement that´s made from banana peels. It actually looks and feels like light plastic but isn´t. I bet that would be perfect just for this!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with you there. Have not needed to make any of my own….yet. I tended to collect wonderful heavy duty bags from book stores I visited around the country. They carry so much more heavy stuff. I was so happy when the stores finally allowed us to bring our own. I’ve been using cloth for over 30 years. It takes them more time as every bag is different and some have no hook to hold them open but I always have my bags with me. My grandparents used those crocheted mesh type bags and I bought one on my last trip back. I hide it from my kids as it’s my favorite. I also have 2 nylon bags that hook onto my purse as they fold into a small ball and are quick to pull out when shopping in other kinds of stores We are very environmental here in Portland, Oregon. Plastic has a time and place but let it be minimal and a last resort. Your bags are so pretty that I may have to break down and make my own now. I have plenty of fabric.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I´m so glad to have found another bring-your-own-bag-to-the store enthusiast!!! 😀 I know these lovely crocheted bags you´re talking of, in fact they have become modern again around here!! And I think I will make myself one too, though I´m a bit suspicious about those holes in the bag 😉
      I´m just back from a lovely little shopping frenzy – lots of lovely wools and fabrics have been purchased as it is summer sale 😀 That will keep my busy for a while 😉
      Wish you a wonderful weekend, Marlene!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi dear Patty! Sorry it´s taking me so long to reply! Thank you very much for loving my bags 🙂 And for asking after my health – the inflammation seems to be finally under control which makes me very very happy 😀 Having a bit of summer flue now but that will hopefully soon past 😉 How are you? I will hop over to your blog, I´m sorry I haven´t done so in the past weeks! Wish you a lovely sunshine day and a perfect weekend! Big hugs! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah sweetie! So happy to hear the inflammations seems to be gone, but summer flue is not nice 😦 Take good care of yourself ok?!? Rough week so far, but it’s going better now. You will read about it at my blog…
        Get well soon! Big big hug back, XxX

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will! Drinking lots of organic ginger tea with honey which is nice on the throat 🙂
        Just tried to open your new site dream pack but it doesn’t open!! Are you doing some maintenance work on it maybe? Had a look at Mimose pudica but the articles are not there, just the links the new site. But I have a horrible feeling something happened to one of your dogs??? I am so so very sorry, darling Patty! I will try again later to visit your website, but please know, that I´m sending you warm and gentle hugs! Hope you will feel better soon xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I like to keep away from plastic bags too but I have to confess, I tend to forget many times!
    The ones you’ve made are so pretty & lovely Sarah! I would love to take one of these with me when I go shopping:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely bags, you have such a wonderful artist’s eye for color combinations and details. I use a combination of bags and recycle the plastics. I do understand they are bad for the environment. Have you seen bags made from the colored plastic ones? I believe they are made by crafts-women in Africa, and they are quite beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lana! 😀
      And I think I know exactly the kinds of bags you´re talking of – they´re pretty amazing! The ones you can buy here are made in India though – I wish I was that skillful with my hands!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We try using our own re-usable market bags, too. But I’ve also been collecting the plastic grocery store bags for crafts, such as spinning into plastic yarn aka plarn. Currently weaving a whole bunch of bags into one rather nifty plastic basket! 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! What a wonderful idea, Jackie! Hope you´re going to share pictures of your basket on your blog soon!!! I made quite a big basket once out of rolled up glossy magazine paper which was incredibly sturdy. I love reusing and up cycling 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah yes, baskets are such a fun way to upcycle “trash” 🙂 Do you still have that glossy paper basket? Pics somewhere on your blog perhaps? I”m also working at a couple of newspaper baskets trimmed with knitting. Planning to post pics, ‘though still wondering how to finish-off the plastic basket… and have been in a bit of a blogful funk, lately :-/
        Hope your weekend is off to a great start, Sarah ❤ 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

        Liked by 1 person

      • Unfortunately that basket of mine didn´t make it until I started blogging 😉 But it was put to good use for a couple of years and I remember it fondly.
        Your newspaper baskets trimmed with knitting sound amazing – I can´t wait to see them!! And don´t worry, I know how it is with blogging sometimes, you will come out of it. Just hang in there. 🙂 I kind of force myself to blog once a week, just to keep it going until the lightening of inspiration strucks me again 😉
        Wish you a beautiful Sunday, Jackie! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah ❤ Inspiration is not in short supply. For me, it's real life that keeps getting in the way… sigh :-/ Hoping to kick back into blogging gear soon!
        For now, just wishing you a wonderful weekend! 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Luckily I live in a city (Bellingham, WA) that has banned single-use plastic bags. I use on most occasions my bookbag to load up my goods, as well as a couple of sturdy bags for shopping. Great idea to make personalized bags. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Woohoo, you are a green gal 🙂 I use cloth bags for my groceries. After a while, it just starts being a habit. Just remember to wash them every couple of trips so your groceries are covered in unseen dirty particles 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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