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Plastic Waste Recycled into Fashionable Handbags and Shoes

ImageSince 2002, Conserve, a non-profit organization, has embarked upon the path of assisting the marginalized urban poor through the development of a model that utilizes urban plastic waste to produce high-fashion products. The genesis of these products lies in their endeavour to help clean up the urban environment while providing income for the poor. Conserve has trained people from urban slums of Delhi to process waste into recycled sheets, using a proprietary...

Image...process, which is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional recycling processes. Additionally, this helps reduce the environmental problems caused by plastics bags. This process converts used polythene bags into a “renewed” innovative material with significantly different properties and great visual appeal, without the use of any additional colour or dyes.


The material and colours
This material is called HRP (Handmade Recycled Plastic). HRP, as the name suggests, is handmade, with an inherent “natural” feel, texture and colour, which gives the product a unique attractive appearance and feel. Each sheet is qualified to be called a work of art. Being water and stain resistant, products made form this material have a long shelf life. There no coloursor dyes used. Many coloursof waste plastic bags are combined creatively to achieve the resultant colours.

The products
A wide range of useful and attractive products has been designed by Indian and international designers, which have received an enthusiastic response, from various International buyers. The present range includes day bags, handbags, evening bags as well as other fashion and interior accessories.

Anita Ahuja, the president of Conserve says:
"Recycling plastic bags in this manner offers only a motivation to dispose them off correctly; it is not a whole solution and should not be accepted as an endorsement for continued use of them. Plastic bags offer undoubted convenience but are an unnecessary environmental nuisance and have a dismal record of causing suffering both to humans and animals. Hopefully, one day the need for these would no longer be felt. However, until then, all efforts have to be made to ensure that these visual eyesores are collected from the garbage dumps and recycled appropriately.


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