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Sewing & Green Grocery Bags

January 26, 2008

I’m finally getting around to posting in here. geesh.

What am I doing lately?

Yeah, that’s my list of stuff I need to do. Or have already started and need to finish. Over on the right side of the picture is my sewing to-do-list.

I’ve been working on making reusable grocery bags, which I’m from now on going to refer to as GGB ie: Green Grocery Bags k?

Before I’d really even started researching bags, a couple of blogs fell into my lap with posts about what they’d done. Two really stand out Wisdom of the Moon’s and ok, well something else I can’t find now, but I drew a picture of it, and basically it looks like a bodice top. Here’s a scan of what I drew:

After reading the pattern in the link above, (I’d drawn the picture before seeing that post) I’d probably do the gusseted bottom, as it’s easier and faster than sewing in a rectangular bottom and works just as well (or better, because you don’t have to worry about seams giving out on your groceries)

I’m sewing a bunch of different types out of whatever scraps of stuff I have that I won’t use for clothing or decor (or did, and am so over it LOL)

So so far, here’s links to what I’ve found, with explanations.

A whole site dedicated to getting people to quit using throw-away bags.

crochet plastic bags – what do you do with all those plastic bags?

GGBS with built in gusset

classic ‘green’ GGB with handles starting all the way at the bottom

Shaped like an actual paper grocery bag

Curved GGB with padded handle and clip on stuff sack’s paper bag shaped version of the GGB

Pattern has handles INSIDE the bag, so you don’t have to worry about them ripping loose and a rectangular bottom


Make a GGB from scraps

Or, buy a bag! This site also offers these statistics on plastic bags

  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
  • According to the American Forest and Paper Association, in 1999 the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring 14 million trees to be cut down.
  • According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person.
  • According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.
  • Top Facts – Environmental Impact
  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
  • As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone “from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
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