Ironically, just as Chicago began the ban on plastic bags, I found these really cool reusable bags, made from, well, bags.
Recycled plastic ones to be exact. The same kind of bags now banned in Chicago.
I found these attractive, reusable bags at the flea market up in Saint Germain, Wisconsin, near Eagle River.
The two crafters who make them, Diane Shadd and her mother Alice Abendschein, cut the old bags into strips, tie them together and then crochet the strips to make the reusable bags.
It takes about 200 plastic bags to make a reusable bag with the whole process taking about 25 hours.
The bags come in a variety of colors like you see here. There’s a Packers-colored one you see upfront in the photo, but you can only order the colors they have on hand.
You can use the bags as tote bags, beach bags or to haul groceries. Diane said you can clean them with a damp cloth. And she said they last. As proof, she said that she has one that’s 15 years old.
Depending on the size, the reusable bags run between $6-$30. A bag to carry groceries costs $20.
I told Diane that the plastic grocery bags and other plastic store bags that she uses were recently banned in Chicago. “I’m fearful of that happening here,” she admitted.
Meanwhile, Diane and her mother are still at it. You can’t find these bags on a website. But you find them at a variety of flea markets and craft fairs in Wisconsin or by calling the crafters:
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