Buy a bag made from recycled plastic straws!
The Strawbag Story:
When Benedicta Nabingi retired after 20 years working for the Government bank in Uganda, She settled into the tiny Kinawataka village. She and fellow retirees could see that their community needed to pull itself into a sustainable group caring for orphans and themselves.
Kinawataka Women’s Initiative (KiWi) is based in a village that has become a suburb of Kampala, in Uganda. As well as thin plastic bags blocking the drains – that are so necessary in fertile Uganda with two rainy seasons – the women found plastic drinking straws that had been used for locally made juices in a bag as well as commercial soft drinks and beer. These straws are gathered, sorted and sterilised in a big drum before being rinsed and sun dried.
Next the straws are flattened and then woven, as you would with grasses and natural straw, to form a long strip in the shape of a thick belt. These strips are the basis for the original plastic straw mats – used for kids to play on and in several of the local mosque. By joining several strips and sewing corners to attach flat panels together, Benedicta started making purse handbags, shopping bags and now with zips, the parents’ bag and sports holdall.
And the result is a range of bags which provide an income to the community members that make them; remove plastic waste from the environment and enable it to be re-used; it reduces the use of disposable plastic bags which would be torn and discarded or burnt; it protects the water-course for drainage and the new drinking water; the bags actually work.
What we know about plastic:
- It is made from fossil fuels (oil) and so each new bag is from a finite resource
- Governments encourage us to use fewer bags – some ban their importation
- Shops help us change our habits by charging us for thin bags
- Cheap, thin bags break and go in the bin
- Things you put in the bin are burnt or buried – both are bad for the environment
- Drop a bag on the ground and it blocks a drain or chokes an animal
Read about the UNEP Call for world-wide ban on thin flm plastic bags.
Remember what a responsible person should do? It is ‘Green’ and saves you money:
- Reduce the use of resources that are finite
- Re-use items, find a second or third job for things you own
- Recycle, efficiently, what can’t be re-used anymore
If you are interested in purchasing, distributing or just supporting this amazing Strawbag and the people who are behind it you can visit Strawbags.org
Your support will help to eliminate poverty and raise the standard of living amongst the women and children of Uganda
Category: Ask the Go Green Guy
About the Author (Author Profile)
Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!
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