Upcycling – Knitting Plastic Bags!

With the best will in the world we still all manage to accumulate plastic bags! Here is a simple and brilliant idea for recycling them into a stylish home-knitted, eco bag!

You will need:

  • All the plastic bags under your sink (For a medium size knitted shopping bag you will need about 20 supermarket sized carrier bags)
  • Scissors
  • Knitting needles

What to do:

Make sure the bags have no holes or tears. Cut off the handles to leave the body of the bag

  • Start cutting the bag from the top in a 3cm wide strip, going in a spiral as if you were peeling an apple. You will end up with one big long strip of plastic 3cm wide
  • This strip is now your strand of wool. Tie it on one end of an 8mm knitting needle.
  • Cast on, knit and cast off as you would with wool. When you reach the end of a piece of plastic, tie a new piece on to it and continue knitting
  • Knit a rectangle of ‘fabric’ to the size you want. Fold it over into a bag shape and sew the sides using thin strips of carrier bag instead of thread. Make the stitches tight to make the bag strong!
  • Knit shoulder straps or handles by knitting two long, thin strips (about 4 stitches across is a good width)
  • Attach the straps using plastic thread again

Voila! You have your very own stylish, home-knitted eco bag for free! Why not try other projects? Mobile phone covers, shoulder handbags or even vegetable bags in different colours.

Interesting Facts

  • PLARN = plastic yarn
  • Supermarket plastic bags are strong and can hold between 15 and 20kg

For more information about recycling in Sussex check this site out!