Reusable Bags: The Key to Helping a Species


Survival. Everyday, the Cotton Topped Tamarin monkey fights for this right in the tropical rainforests of Colombia. Being from Colombia, this affects me personally because we view this animal as a national icon. The world holds only 6000 of these monkeys. When I used to live in Colombia, people would take this species for granted and litter the Tamarin’s home.  In rural areas, there are no formal means to manage waste. As a result, most trash is thrown to the roadside. The country was experiencing a challenge with the amount of plastic bags that were found in tropical forests. As a result, Project Tamarin was made.

 Mochilas are traditional bags made in Colombia.

Rosamira Guillen, the executive director of PT describes one effective way to solve the problem, “The Eco-Mochila Project.”  Project Tamarrin or Proyecto Tití has sponsored the development of eco-mochilas. The project allows people to transform lying plastic bags into these colorful reusable bags. That’s how eco-mochilas were born.  The reusable bags can reduce the amount of plastic bags found littered in the Tamarin’s home. Take that trash and turn it into something that makes a difference in the lives of people and tamarins!

 Atta Girl!

In Turning bags into beautiful bolsas, the author reveals that:

Proyecto Tití helped create a group of woman called ASOARTESANAS. These women inspire villages to collect and prepare plastic bags so they can be crocheted into an eco-mochila. My cousin told that me that sometimes the women go door to door and explain the importance of protecting the Tamarins. The article states that it takes approximately 100-120 plastic bags to make one eco-mochila!!

Now that’s a great way to get rid of all those old plastic bags!!


Guillen reveals that with “a stable source of income, residents are able to turn away from destructive economic activities, such as capturing cotton-top tamarins for the pet trade or contributing to deforestation.” The people who share their villages with the Cotton Top Tamarin now have an alternative solution. The Eco-Mochillas help people make money. Plastic bags that were once discarded by people have become a form of currency. Villagers now learn to appreciate and cherish their special neighbors.

Alert!!! This video is in spanish, but it shows the process of making these reusable bags. If you are not blind, then you will be fine. You’ll Live. Come on and check it out!!



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