Plastic Bag Fund Project

Plastic Bag Fund Project


For a number of years, I have been playing around with the idea of creating my own interdisciplinary initiative, think tank or organisation focused on sustainability, art and culture. I am a long-standing researcher in the field of plastic bags, having written my PhD on the subject of ‘Alltagsobjekt Plastiktüte’ (The Plastic Bag Phenomena), published in German by Springer Wien New York in 2011.

Around the world, countries and cities are currently planning to ban plastic bags or establish a fee for using them, if they have not already done so. In Europe, shops are allowed to determine how much they charge for a plastic bag, with bags currently costing anywhere between 5 and 20 cents each. It is a case of self-determination in Europe, but it will certainly be a legal requirement in the near future. However, I always ask myself, “Where does this money go to?” A human brain cannot understand or even picture the amount of plastic bags that are used each day around the world. Simply ‘erasing’ plastic bags from our stores will not automatically remove all the plastic trash that litters our oceans and countryside, nor will it solve the issue of everything being packaged in plastic today. We need to find a constructive way to reap the benefits of plastic bags – using them and reusing them – because they are still going to be around for a good few years, until they become museum relics of the plastic era of our global, mass consumer society. However, until then, we need a solution that does more than simply focus on banning or recycling plastic bags. We also need to focus on ‘recycling’ the money. For example, consumers currently have the choice to buy a plastic bag. If the bag is reused or returned to the shop, money is able to flow, which is why it makes sense to keep plastic bags moving within their own system. Some shops already have plans for donating this money, but the question of which cause it should be donated to still persists. We are all aware of the sad fact that donations do not always finds their way to the right beneficiary. My Plastic Bag Fund concept is an international, independent and transparent fund set up to collect this ‘plastic bag money’. Until plastic bags are forbidden and erased completely from the market, we could use this fund to support worthy projects during this time of great change. 

About Dr. Ida-Marie Corell

Ida-Marie Corell is an artist, musical poet, composer and thinker who is active at the intersection of music, art and knowledge transfer. Her interdisciplinary work concentrates on themes such as mass consumerism, identity, synaesthesia, emotion, plastic, plastic bags, aisthesis, transfer and transcendence. Her dissertation, Alltagsobjekt Plastiktüte (The Plastic Bag Phenomena) published by Springer Wien New York Verlag in 2011, won the ‘edition angewandte’ publishing grant of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Her second book, The Artist is Resident, won the ‘Florian und Ursula Werner’ publishing grant and the Kunsthalle Arlberg 1800 Art Award 2013. Dr. Corell curated two museum exhibitions on plastic bags in Switzerland 2012 and 2013 and also teaches and lectures about plastic bags, aisthesis and mass consumerism.