Our Awesome project is about plastic bags that we see in Yerevan and other towns and villages of Armenia every second. These plastic bags are thrown away after being used and they pollute the environment badly. They fly in the air, hang on the trees and it takes ages for them to decompose. Instead, we teach people to re-cycle and re-use these plastic bags so that they can be made into something useful and nice. Our idea is to teach young women from socially vulnerable families in the town of Ashtarak how to make new items of this type of garbage. We have once had a similar project with children and it was a big success.
We will teach about 30 women how to knit bags, purses, bathroom rags, toys and other handy things out of plastic bags. This will serve two purposes at once: to make these women (and others through them) think more about the environment and reduce the usage of plastic bags, as well as to teach them a new skill that can be used as a source of income for them and their families. Since the raw material, i.e. the plastic bags, does not cost anything and needs to be collected by the women themselves, they can use the skill whenever they want and even spend their pastime knitting nice things. In the beginning of the project we visit polluted areas together, collect plastic bags, thus cleaning the area substantially. We then wash these plastic bags, cut them in pieces and prepare for being knitted. My colleague, the knitting teacher, will teach these women the skill and they will start producing really nice items, which they can use in daily life, give as presents, as well as sell them and bring some income into the family. Another positive effect of our awesome project is that those who will get these items as a present or buy them, will also start thinking more about the environment and will probably think twice before using too many plastic bags or throwing them away. Re-use, re-cycle and think creatively – those are our mottoes!
Funded by Yerevan (August 2014)