Creating vibrant art from everyday trash

Saturday February 09, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Sabine Janneck with the eye-catching blue handbag made from Anchor milk powder plastic wrappers and a clutch bag. 19013108 Sabine Janneck with the eye-catching blue handbag made from Anchor milk powder plastic wrappers and a clutch bag. 19013108

Weaving vibrant intricate art pieces from every day trash, is a passion for Sabine Janneck, a staunch advocator of waste management.


“It’s important people are aware of the rubbish we have,” she says.

“We need to look at our island, the landfill – it’s filled with more and more plastic daily.”

Janneck discovered by chance the art of weaving with plastic wrappers four years ago; a friend of hers was visiting and wanted her rubbish to use for a project.

Intrigued, she asked her friend for a demonstration of how she made the recyclable accessories.

“She showed me the basics and that was it,” says Janneck.

When she started, things just took off. She didn’t have enough of the handmade crafts to sell.

“I’m a perfectionist, I love the colours; the design changes as I weave.

“Sometimes when I’m beginning a piece, I’m not sure about the design, I just go with it, whatever comes to mind.

“I love each and every one of my pieces. In each piece there is a part of me, but I have to let go,” she says wistfully.

With every piece Janneck can recall where the plastic wrappers came from.

Some of the bright hand-crafted pieces are ladies’ clutches, hand bags, church bags, laptop cases, cushions (perfect for your car too) and more.

Her products are so much in demand, it is best to place an order, as each piece requires many uninterrupted hours of work.

All depending on the design; some pieces will use up to 500 assorted pieces of plastic wrappers.

Those who would like to contribute your plastic waste to a better cause, here are a few handy hints to take note of:

-              Open the plastic wrap nicely, snip or cut, preferably in a straight line near the top of the bag. Do not tear.

-              Open the bag/wrapper and wipe clean with a cloth, compress and stack neatly.

The main plastic wrappers Janneck is after include: chocolate, lolly, coffee sachets, cheese plastic wrappers, Jumbo noodle packets, and Anchor milk plastic bags.

Janneck is the chair of the Te Ipukarea Society Waste Management Committee, and the leader of the Cook Islands Recycling Creations Living Environment (CIRCLE), making fashion items from local man-made litter.

Offices, stores, tourism industry, government departments, schools and residents are urged to join this effort by collecting and storing your plastic trash that can be put to good use and benefit our environment; these can be delivered to the Dive Centre (the Big Fish) in Arorangi or Te Ipukarea Society office in Tupapa. Visit her Facebook page CIRCLE to see more of the popular products.        - ME

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