Kaziranga women are turning waste plastic into traditional handloom products| By Rachana

One thing that is widespread in the nation is the generation of plastic waste. Assam's Kaziranga is no different. Every day, there is an immeasurable amount of discarded plastic waste found in this national park.

Rupjyoti Saikia Gogoi (47), a native of the region, collects this waste and weaves it in traditional handlooms to make handbags, doormats, table mats, and other furnishing products, using an innovative approach. She has also trained thousands of women to upcycle waste, which has helped them to earn a living.

How is it done?

Rupjyoti began by gathering plastic covers thrown around the lanes surrounding their area, along with a few other women. When they had collected enough, they thoroughly washed and dried the waste. Using a pair of scissors, the bags were then cut into strips and tied by hand from end-to-end to make one long thread. They adopted basic techniques to weave different products on a primitive handloom and integrated plastic with cotton threads. The cotton thread is woven in the vertical direction, and horizontal weaves are created using the plastic thread.

She taught it to a few other women once she found out that it was effective. They would sell the items to visitors, some of whom would be amazed and ask to visit the handloom to see how the products were woven.

To date, Rupjyoti has trained more than 2000 women in the plastic weaving process. They all have a primitive loom built on their premises, some give Rupjyoti to their finished goods to be sold.

In addition to finding a way to provide a livelihood for thousands of women in rural areas, Rupjyoti has also offered an innovative method for recycling waste.

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