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Weaving for Nature

Category: Help Out
Posted by: Alaine
WOW_it's recycled plastic bags

A group of 19 women from Gandoca are using recycled plastic bags rescued from the grocery stores to make magnificent handbags that will last forever!

Gandoca is a community on the South Caribbean which gets a big economic boost from tourism each year during the turtle nesting season from March to July or August. During the rest of the year, this peaceful coastal town has little economic movement other than agriculture. The women of Gandoca have recently participated in workshops to find a way that will not only ensure the preservation of the marine ecosystem, and therefore the turtles, but also bring them an income in the off-season.

This project reuses about 12,000 plastic bags from supermarkets each month. It takes about 30 hours to create one bag. Bags are for sale at ATEC for $29 a piece, remember, it’s plastic, it’s washable and it will last forever!

Talamancans can send their clean plastic bags with the ReciCaribe recycling truck for now; soon there will be a collection container at ATEC where bags can be deposited.

Widecast, , is the organization that organized the workshops to teach the women to make the bags.

Widecast is working on the Gandoca Sea Turtle project and with Volunteers in Gandoca this season. Visits can be arranged through Widecast: or through ATEC

Widecast explains the initiative:

Plastics are some of the main components of solid waste found contaminating our oceans. Its impact not only targets the environment for its presence in wild areas, but it also interferes with natural processes. For example, sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jelly fish and ingest them; this often causes their death. This situation is also well documented in other marine mammals and birds. For these reasons, this project, whose mission is to promote the balance between socio-economic development of local communities and conservation, has proposed to collect used plastic bags, such as the ones given out at supermarkets, and processes them so that women from local communities of Costa Rica and Panama can elaborate beautiful hand knitted purses and bags. Each one of these bags uses between 60-80 plastic bags, that would otherwise be discarded as waste, and involves at least 30 hours of dedicated work; they are washable and 100% ecologically friendly.

Thank you for supporting this initiative!

Bettering the economic condition of families but also bettering the environmental condition of their home.

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This page last modified 18 Jan, 2016

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