Last summer Ruby Sprengle, a product design student at the University of Oregon, and her friend Greg Peterson came up with the Utility Quilt, shown above.
The Utility Quilt is made entirely out of recycled plastic bags using an extremely high tech and uniquely named process caused "Plastic Bag Fusing" which involves layers of plastic bags, just like the ones you get at the grocery store, a piece of tracing paper, and an iron. It was designed to be a lightweight, portable, waterproof shelter that can be used in a variety of situations and locations, depending on the user's needs. They can be used as a singular unit or linked together with other Quilts to form a larger protected area.
Sprengle is now putting the tech to good use, collecting plastic bags en masse to make tarps for Haiti, where the approaching rainy season combined with too many people and not enough tarps is going to lead to some problems. There's an article on her process here, and you can stay abreast of her progress (and possibly pitch in) by tuning in here.