What should you do with all the plastic bags you collect from the store? On October 20, 2012, Anne-Marie Potts showed the community an innovative solution: crochet the bags into new treasures. Anne-Marie has been teaching this technique for some time as part of Educación Primero‘s (Education First) community outreach, visiting school and community groups across Panama. For instance, she has taught women’s clubs how to crochet new goods to sell for extra income. The technique is basic, but the results are beautiful. One simply has to cut plastic bags into strips, tie them together and crochet in the normal fashion to produce beach bags, purses, placemats, even scrubbers for the kitchen sink in bright colors.
Folks from as far as Bocas del Toro attended the workshop to learn how to crochet with Anne-Marie. One participant later took what she learned and added crocheted strips of black trash bags to her recycled dress in a school-sponsored parade. The idea opens up many new possibilities for reusing items that traditionally get thrown in the trash and then burnt in the dump. This process contaminates the air we breathe on the Azuero. The Azuero Earth Project encourages you to look at goods you plan to throw away with a new eye for how you might creatively recycle them.
For resources from the workshop and more information, visit Anne-Marie’s Guest Experts page.
Written by Sophie M. Fuchs