I use plastic bags and detritus in all my artwork. I started using recycled plastic bags right after leaving graduate school, which I mainly use in large scale community engaged installations. My artist statement talks about wanting to show the dichotomy of American culture (how something can be good and bad at the same time) and our love affair with consumerism.
Invasive Species in Wisconsin: 5,000 crocheted kudzu leaves, made from recycled plastic bags:
I also like looking and sharing artwork made from detritus or recycled plastic. I came across this great organization based in Oregon: Washed Ashore. They organize beach clean ups with volunteers, then wash and sort the trash they have collected, and make giant animal sculptures, which they exhibit in public places as a reminder to curb consumption, and not pollute the ocean.
What can you do?
If you are an educator, visit the Washed Ashore's website, and make sure you look through their educational initiatives. You can get ideas about organizing street clean-ups in your neighborhood, and using the trash for art projects, and educational opportunities about the environment. Look through all their photos for inspiration while you are there!