Recycled Plastic Weaving

Khamir’s Recycled Plastic project repurposes urban waste materials while supporting traditional weaving skills and methods.


Why do it?

Bhuj produces large quantities of plastic waste, and the city’s waste disposal system is problematic at best. The carbon footprint of plastic bags is approximately 6kg of CO2 per 1kg of plastic. Globally, only 3% of plastic bags are recycled. In Bhuj, much plastic never even makes it to a landfill, and some amount is even ingested by animals who mistake the bags for food.

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Plastic collection drive at Kailashnagar Society, Bhuj

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Industrial waste collection by Suzlon Foundation

The Recycled Plastic project was conceived as one that would target the urban waste problem, while simultaneously supporting traditional weaving skills and methods. Today, it provides income to waste collectors, weavers and tailors around Bhuj. It also serves to educate the public about the environmental hazards of plastic waste.


About the Project

The Recycled Plastic project was launched in 2010. During its initial phase, Khamir trained 12 women to wash, cut and weave plastic collected from industrial and residential areas.  After the pilot program proved successful, Khamir scaled the initiative to include more people in the production chain and develop more woven plastic products.


Sorting and cleaning of the waste plastic collected

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Cutting of the plastic into thin strips

The plastic collection is coordinated with the help of Sahjeevan, an environmental NGO based in Bhuj that also works on urban issues. Collected plastic is transported to Khamir, where it is cleaned and segregated on the basis of colour and quality. The clean plastic is cut into long strips, which are then given to weavers. The weaving is carried out both on traditional pit looms as well as frame looms.


Ready to weave - Making bobbins from the thin cut strips


Manjulaben from Avadhnagar village getting trained to do plastic weaving

Plastic weaving is currently practiced by a large number of women trained by Khamir. As it is a skill that can be easily learned by new weavers, it can also generate supplementary income for medium skilled weavers, home-based workers, people with disabilities, and senior citizens.