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Fracking good idea: Argentine sisters turn sand bags into handbags

A design house in Argentina has discovered a new source of inspiration and materials in an unusual place: oil industry burlap plastic sacks from the country's massive Vaca Muerta shale deposit, which they recycle to create shoes, purses, and handbags. Fracking Design, founded by three sisters and named after the contentious method used in oil and gas production, takes plastic "Big Bags" used to carry sand and processes and combines them with waste leather.Sisters Carla, Ornella and Mora Basilotta discuss the design of a handbag.

Oil and gas companies in Vaca Muerta, a shale deposit the size of Belgium, utilize thousands of the bags, which are often not recycled but are instead burned, emitting greenhouse gases. Today, we use 10% of the oil produced by an oil well. In other words, we have a great deal of work ahead of us if we are to continue developing.

Basilotta, Ornella

"A well consumes around 30,000 to 40,000 tons of sand. That's around 26,500 bags," said Ornella Basilotta, 40, one of the sisters who have worked with regional energy corporations, including state-owned YPF. She said that around 40 families were now participating in the manufacturing process, and the recycled plastic was "equal to 1,100 trees that would be required to absorb the carbon dioxide generated by these bags if they were burned."

See the source image

The sisters stumbled found the Vaca Muerta fields by happenstance while searching for mohair wool in Patagonia. The plastic waste-leather goods, such as the "Frackilette" shoes, have debuted in the design shop of Buenos Aires' famed MALBA museum, are offered online, and are utilized as sustainable corporate presents by local oil firms.

Fracking Design is diversifying its business and is eager to capitalise on its oil industry experience. "Today, we use 10% of the energy generated by an oil well. In other words, we have a great deal of work ahead of us if we are to continue developing," Basilotta said.See the source image

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Fracking good idea: Argentine sisters turn sand bags into handbags (timeslive.co.za)

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