A creative craft program to address plastic waste

Plastic waste will be given a major transformation through a creative craft program that will turn waste into useful items such as mats and baskets.

Clean Bhutan Organization (CBO) initiated the program in collaboration with the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI) to approach plastic waste management through a creative slant and to encourage rural women entrepreneurship.

As of today, six women from Mongar have been trained on weaving baskets and mats from plastic waste. Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative is doing the training and Clean Bhutan intends to polish the works by giving the products an artistic lift and a fine finish so that it can be sold. Clean Bhutan hopes to set up an outlet, a waste boutique, in the capital to market the artistic fabrication of plastic waste.

Clean Bhutan’s CEO Nedup Tshering recently visited Mumbai, India, to study the fine crafts of making baskets, bags, shoe racks, and chairs. “We (CBO) would like to establish the outlets without involving the third party because we do not want to compromise with quality and brand Clean Bhutan is known internationally,” he said. Nedup Tshering said as a start up business, Clean Bhutan will ask the women in the rural sectors who have undergone the training to make products that are more in demand. Sale proceeds will be shared with rural women members with Clean Bhutan keeping a nominal amount as green tax for sustainability of the outlet and the organization. “We are just aiming to address plastic waste by engaging our women from the rural sections of the society,” added Nedup Tshering. He said that Clean Bhutan’s main objective is to reduce waste at source by Advocating on Behavioral Change (ABC).

Nedup Tshering said that Swachh Bharat Assam and Swachh Bharat Sikkim extended hands to collaborate with Clean Bhutan organization to address plastic waste through such ways. After Clean Bhutan started with the program to curb plastic waste by seeking approval from the Je Khenpo to discourage the offering of plastic tshoks, it has also been observed that people in Sikkim has adopted the same program.

“We are choosing Thimphu as the place for setting up such an outlet because the market is more viable here,” said Nedup Tshering.

The program was funded by the Bhutan Trust Fund and the future programs for the same will be funded by UNDP.

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