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Jewelry from Agricultural Plastic

Here’s some staggering facts about plastic use:

  • 160,000 plastic bags are used globally every second!
  • 5 trillion plastic bags are produced yearly. Side by side, they can encircle the world 7 times.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a floating landfill of garbage in the Pacific twice the size of Texas, is mostly composed of plastic.
  • In 2008, a sperm whale was found beached in California. It died due to the more than 22 kilos of plastic found in its stomach.
  • Plastic will only start degrading after 700 years and will only fully degrade in 1000 years. This means that all the plastic that has ever been produced has not degraded yet.
  • Plastic bags remain toxic even after it breaks down. It doesn’t biodegrade, it photo-degrades. It means that after it degrades, it breaks down into smaller and smaller toxic bits of itself – and bleeds and contaminates the environment.
  • An average family will use 60 plastic bags on four visits to the supermarket.
  • Only 1 to 3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
  • Plastic bags cause the death of many marine animals when they are mistaken for food.

Which is why we tip our hats off to Rachel Kippen who has created jewelry from “items she finds during cleanups and wants to keep out of a landfill including bread clips, straws, plastic monopoly game pieces, bingo chips and scotch tape rolls.” [Santa Cruz Sentinel]

According to Kippen:

“These are items that have no end of life cycle plan. They cannot be downcycled like other plastics and they end up either going straight to the landfill or are a persistent waste item on our beaches and in our oceans,” she said. “Unweaving and untangling it from the earth also made me think about weaving it back together and symbology around that,” she said.