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April 2012

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anti plastic albatross chick

xhile in antiplastik

Craft and Plastic Recyling! Nifty Way of Recycling Plastic Bags

This will interest craft makers, as well as environmentalists. I'm looking at you, Smoobs ;)
from http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/413551/2738015

Fusing those supermarket bags

We all know those plastic supermarket bags are evil - they just sit multiplying into a huge unused ball in that corner of your pantry every time you go to the supermarket. You can reuse them as rubbish or recycling bags, but apparently that's no longer an OK thing and here's why.

It's my understanding that plastic shopping bags:
- Take ages to decompose (since they've only be around 50 years scientists can only forecast how long it takes)
- Threaten wildlife (particularly marine life such as turtles)
- Release toxic gases when burnt

Now, I'm no scientist so if I've got it wrong let me know!

Once you get the hang of fusing you can make large bags, small bags, iPod covers - the options are limitless. Today we are going to whip up an iPod cover.

What you'll need for fusing bags:
Plastic bags (thin, flimsy ones work best)
Parchment paper, freezer paper, plain old copier paper (I used greaseproof paper)
Iron (and your favourite ironing surface)

Making it
Flatten out the bag and trim the bottom top off, making a nice plastic rectangle.
Note: The flatter the bag the more pristine it looks as a final fused product. I have been known to sandwich plastic rectangles between encyclopaedias for a nice flat bag
Turn your bag inside out if it has printing on it. When ink heats up, it comes off and you get a huge mess (trust me on this one) .
Between 6-8 layers of plastic gives the best results. So, you can either fold your bag until it is 8 ply thick, or layer more rectangles
Place your plastic bags between 2 sheets of paper
Next, move your hot iron all over the bag (I set my iron to just before cotton, but it's super dependant on your iron).
Make sure to get the edges, and after about 15 seconds, flip it over and iron the opposite side for a few seconds.
Peel a corner of the paperback to see if the plastic is fused together. If not iron a little more
Peel the paper away from the finished plastic sheet.
You now have a nice bit of fused plastic that is tough durable waterproof and will last for ages

Turning your awesome fused plastic into something useful - an iPod cover, or cellphone cover or just a nifty little open purse

What you'll need
2 rectangles of fused pastic
Thread (I used hot pink tapestry wool)
Snaps or Velco

Lay your iPod in the middle of the first rectangle. Rule a line all about the iPod. Make your line about 1cm away from it.
Lay your iPod in the middle of the second rectangle, rule lines again but at the top make about a 6cm gap (this makes your flap.
Join your two rectangles together and, using blanket stitch, sew around the edges leaving the top part free.
For blanket stitch: See the image across -> Come up at 1, go down at 2 and come up at 3, being sure to catch the thread from your first stitch. Pull taut before beginning your next stitch and be sure to keep your stitches even.

Extra fashion moment
Sew just around the top of the smaller rectangle only, and then sew on your flaps
Attach one of your snaps on the inside of the flap
Match the snap to the body of your case and attach another snap.

And you are all done.

Instead of fused plastic you can use fabric, knitted wool, felt anything you like!

In case you're wondering, my user pic is an albatross chick from an island in the northeast Pacific Ocean Its parent has eaten so much plastic (both on the sea surface and in fish) that it feeds death to its chick. The chick becomes bloated with plastic, cannot eat or digest, and dies. Look back through the antiplastik community for links about this.

listening to Aurora | Ordinary World