Plarn is a yarn made from recycled plastic bags. By cutting the bags in to strips and stringing them together a strong colorful yarn is made. The plarn (short for plastic yarn) can be crocheted, stitched, fused or weaved into a wide range of items. Here we have collected a bunch of the most interesting and beautiful bags, totes and purses made from plarn. There are several website dedicated to the art of making the bags and popular retail website like Ebay and Etsy sell plarn bags for as much as $75 each with most being sold in the $10 to $30 range.
Plastic bags litter the world and are often not recycled due to several factors. Only fractions of the 1 billion shopping bags Americans use annually are recycled, creating nearly 300,000 tons of landfill waste. Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. They are broken down by light and become small particles that contaminate the soil and water. In turn, the removal is difficult and expensive. With billions of the plastic bags around the world their cost as a raw material is free and can be produced in cottage industry work shops and exported to high value markets.
There are several websites devoted to the art of making plarn goods. Plastic Bag Craft (www.plasticbagcrafts.com) is one of the best. One website Haute Trash is focused on the use of trash as art and fashion.
Plarn can be made into shoes, mats, curtains, and clothing. It is simple and fun. There are project to make bags and bed rolls for the homeless. Each Plarn Bag or bedroll uses 120 plastic bags that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The only financial cost to make a bedroll (or any item knitted from plastic bags) is a $2.50 crochet hook. The cost in time is a bit more significant. The plarn bed rolls are a durable, surprisingly cushioned mat that is given to someone who can really use it. Plarn Bags last for ever, are not effected by the weather and can hold a large amount of weight.