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Hanging pots are made from thin plastic bags. The kind newspapers are delivered in, or someone may put vegetables in at the grocery store.
RAD reuses these by cutting them into strips, chaining those together, and spinning them into 'yarn' (sometimes called plarn for plastic yarn).
We use a foot powered spinning wheel, the same as you would traditionally use for spinning wool into yarn.
These pots are 7" in diameter and 4" deep, with a total of 16" height. They can hold soil or pellets. They drain well through the bottom point without leaking much dirt. They can be used inside or outside and will survive all weather. Plant roots won't consume the plastic fiber, so they will last a very long time!
Each Hanging Pot uses approximately 30 bags. Each pot is 100% plastic bags- no glue, tape, wire, etc. Currently, Russell does all the processes by hand, making each Hanging Pot a unique piece of sculpture. But, we will be automating more steps in the future, to improve our scale of work.
How do we get the bags? Russell goes to the plastic 'reuse' bins at the grocery store and collects them by hand! Also, we are encouraging Bend, Oregon residents to collect these bags and donate them directly to RAD. Want to send RAD your bags? See our 'Support RAD' page
Why is this better than traditional recycling?
These bags can't be recycled at your local recycling plant. If you put them in the grocery store bins, they are shipped along with the other mixed plastics to the Northeast coast, then melted and pressed into boards for furniture. This is admirable, but the melting process is suboptimal and uses a lot of energy and releases toxic gases.
Our process does not use any heat or melting and doesn't release any fumes. It's just cutting, spinning, and weaving. It is low energy and can be done locally to reduce shipping burdens. We do not dye the bags; all colors are just the colors of the plastic bags. It's highly efficient and creates a beautiful and versatile product.
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