Throw-away plastics, including bread bags and two-litre bottles, are being recycled to make colourful shopping bags and give women in Hout Bay a hand up.
The Re.Bag.Re.Use initiative, started by Regine le Roux, is keeping plastics out of landfills and creating work for women in Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.
“The initiative gives people an opportunity to repurpose waste into a beautiful practical product while earning a stipend at the same time. Making something out of nothing,” Ms Le Roux said.
She came up with the idea during lockdown. Two women cut the plastic and six crocheted it into bags.
It takes about 30 empty plastic bread bags and roughly eight hours to complete one shopping bag. Now in its third month, the project has created about 40 of them.
“This is really a help for me,” said Jane Hoffman, of Hangberg, who supports her two grandchildren with the help of her disability grant and one child grant. “I cannot explain in words how thankful I am for being introduced to Regine. It taught us to crochet with bread bags and other plastics. This is so awesome for me, its not just an extra income, but also a stress reliever in this pandemic.”
Setta Adams, of Hangberg, has been without work for three years, but she is now a cutter for Re.Bag.Re.Use.
“This opportunity to cut the bags has really made a great difference with the day-to-day needs in my household,” she said.
Margaret Nyika, of Imizamo Yethu, grabbed the opportunity with both hands. “Crocheting the plastic bags upgrades my handwork,” she said.
Ms Le Roux is hoping to go national with the product.“The best thing about it is you just need a crochet pen,” she said. “Once you have the skill, the world is your oyster in terms of the products you can create.
Fiddlesticks haberdashery, in the Red Sails building, has offered to be a drop-off for the plastics.
Ten percent of the sales from each bag supports various Hout Bay charities.
“Recently a lady bought nine bags that were taken to the United States as gifts. We’re absolutely thrilled that these bags are now ‘international’,” Ms Le Roux said.
Call or WhatsApp Regine le Roux at 083 302 1528 for more information.