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Celebrating Three Years of Re.Bag.Re.Use and World Environment Day

One bread bag weighs approximately seven grams. Over the past three years, the Hout Bay-based initiative, Re.Bag.Re.Use, has repurposed plastic equivalent to just over 92,000  empty bread bags! To put this into perspective, that’s the weight of about five baby elephants!

“Facebook reminded me earlier today that one of the very first Re.Bag.Re.Use meetups took place exactly three years ago at Hout Bay Harbour. At that time, I had started meeting with a group of ladies to share the basics of crocheting. On one of these occasions, for a bit of fun, I showed the ladies my experiment: crocheting with an empty bread bag. When I look at that memory shared by Facebook, it feels like I’ve blinked, and my bread bag experiment has snowballed into something extraordinary!” shares Regine le Roux, founder of the Re.Bag.Re.Use iniative.

One of the initial biggest frustrations was having enough plastic cut while crocheting. It’s such a pain to be in a crocheting rhythm and then have to stop to cut plastic. The initiative now has five ladies cutting empty plastic bags into strips, and there are ten ladies from the Hout Bay community and surrounds who crochet different multi-functional items.

Apart from creating the most beautifully creative and vibrant pieces, Re.Bag.Re.Use have also been involved in incredibly exciting art projects. These include the Waterfront’s annual Joy for Africa initiative last year—check out the beautiful dancing skirts still hanging from the ceiling at the Waterfront’s Watershed—and working closely with Ananta Design Studio’s creative design team on their products for Decorex and their recent design for the UPCYCLE exhibition.

“We are incredibly grateful for Blue Ribbon’s phenomenal support of our initiative by providing us with empty bread bags for our projects,” adds le Roux.

Tapiwa Likona, who has been part of the initiative from the beginning, shares: “Looking back at our Re.Bag.Re.Use journey, we had no idea how far we would go. Over the past three years, we have met so many wonderful people and achieved significant progress in recycling. Our efforts to save the environment have grown into a large, dedicated group committed to this cause. This initiative has not only benefitted the environment but has also provided crucial support to our families in various ways. The work we do continues to make a positive impact on our community and our planet.”

The community’s support has been incredible, with many people collecting bags for us and dropping them off at Fiddlesticks Haberdashery, the Hout Bay Library, and Pick n Pay in Hout Bay.

It all started with just one empty bread bag. This shows that with a bit of creativity and fun, you can make something out of nothing. Most importantly, something beneficial to all. Apart from 645 kg of plastic not ending up in our environment, the ladies earn some pocket money for groceries and school supplies for their children. With each sale, a percentage gets donated to the Neighbourhood Old Age Home (NOAH) and the SPCA, spreading the love even further.

For more information, please visit: or email or WhatsApp 083 302 1528

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