Over the Christmas period I began to realise just how much plastic packaging we use, in particular, plastic carrier bags. Most shops now charge if we need a bag, and although I try to refrain from buying them I never seem to have a suitable shopping bag with me. This usually results in me walking home with my arms full of shopping, which I often drop, or, in me giving in and buying yet another plastic carrier bag.
There has been a great deal of publicity recently about the damage these bags are doing to the planet. Globally over 1 million plastic bags are consumed per minute. These take years to biodegrade. We have only been using them for 40 years but they already cover the planet. The bags break down into smaller and smaller toxic pieces which enter every part of the food chain. Marine wildlife also mistake plastic bags for food and die.
As the governments and retailers are struggling to make an impact on this problem then we, the consumers, need to try to make a difference. I recently came across an organisation called ‘Morsbags’ which asks people to ‘Keep Material Out of Landfill and Plastic Out of the Environment’. They do this by encouraging individuals or groups to make simple fabric bags which are reusable, recycled, washable and strong. The idea is that once you have made your own bag you will make more to give away to friends, family and strangers.
Although some people work on their own making Morsbags, many set up ‘Pods’ which are groups of people meeting up at local venues to make bags, chat, drink tea and eat cake ! I have decided I would like to set up a Halifax ‘Pod’. My plan is to hold a session once a month in my studio in Croft Myl, central Halifax, the date of the first meeting is Wednesday 21st February from 10-00 until 3-00. You could come for the full day or just part of it if you prefer. Tea and coffee will be available, bring a sandwich if you like, or buy lunch and delicious cake from Jayne’s Cakes and Bakes, also based in Croft Myl.
The bags are easy to make and don’t require specialist sewing skills. They can be made from fabric most of have around the house, even old curtains and duvet covers can make great bags. Each bag will have a ‘Morsbags’ label stitched on which is a good way of spreading the word.
The ‘Morsbags’ organisation encourage local pods to have their own name. I have called our group the ‘Halifax Raggedy Baggers’ as it will be based in my studio. If you feel this is something you would like to be involved with, and you would like to spend time once a month with like-minded people please get in touch. My details are below. If you have fabric which could be used to make bags please bring that with you, although I have enough to get us going !
Let’s see if we can make a difference !
Email – RaggedyAnnie1@virginmedia.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/annie.lancaster.948
Website – www.RaggedyAnnie.co.uk
I also run courses in a variety of textile techniques from my studio, see the website or Facebook. Courses can also be arranged to suit you, for groups of 2 – 12 people.