What to do with old plastic bags? Chennai’s 92-year-old granny Janaki Vishwam has found the perfect solution to this. She makes carry bags, small pouches to carry money, table mats, luggage tags, toaster covers etc out of old plastic covers.
According to her 72-year-old son, Ramakrishnan R V (Raja), his mother had always had artistic talent. So, when in 2019, Tamil Nadu introduced a plastic ban in the state, Janaki began to think about what to do with all the plastic bags in the house. That is when she began to turn plastic into stylish bags and pouches and other items. She does this not for any monetary gain, but just to occupy her time.
She gives these items free to the people visiting her. She displays every item she made and makes the visitors choose what they like from the set. This is the main joy in her life.
She uses YouTube to learn how to make bags and other items. She was not comfortable using a smartphone, but her daughter-in-law helped her out. She first shreds the plastic into thin strips and then uses a set of crochet needles to shape the plastic strings into various shapes. There are times when plastic is not available in the house, and the house members have to go scout for plastic. Like this, the plastic waste gets recycled into these useful items and Janaki becomes a star by reducing plastic pollution.
– Poorna Krishnan