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  22/11/2023

Kien Giang Farmer’s Ingenious Plastic Waste Upcycling

NDO – With creative ideas and skilled hands, a farmer in Kien Giang has recycled plastic twine used for tying bricks into useful items, reducing plastic waste and contributing to environmental protection.

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Mr. Nguyen Van Le crafts useful items from plastic twine used for tying bricks.

The idea of recycling plastic twine used for tying bricks was initiated by Mr. Nguyen Van Le (78 years old) from Muong Chua hamlet, Tay Yen A commune, An Bien district, Kien Giang province, following a suggestion from a relative working as a construction laborer in Phu Quoc city, Kien Giang province.

“”””At the beginning of 2020, my younger sister-in-law, who works as a construction laborer, told me that many construction material businesses discard a lot of twine used for tying bricks. She suggested that I could collect them to weave baskets and containers for everyday use,”””” Mr. Le recalled.

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Many useful products are crafted by the 78-year-old farmer from discarded plastic twine.

With existing experience in bamboo and rattan weaving inherited from his father decades ago, now with the suggestion from his sister-in-law, Mr. Nguyen Van Le began implementing the idea of recycling plastic waste into useful items.

Every day, around 4-5 a.m., the 78-year-old farmer rides his bicycle to construction material businesses and building sites to collect twine used for tying bricks in various colors. He cleans and sun-dries them. About 2 hours after sun-drying, Mr. Le recycles the twine, weaving it into useful items such as handbags, mats, baskets for holding fish, baskets for holding shrimp, fruit baskets, crates, flower pots, and more.

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The products crafted by Mr. Le from plastic twine used for tying bricks.

Mr. Le explained that the plastic twine is used for tying bricks in construction projects and is often discarded after use, ending up in canals and waterways, obstructing boats and vessels. It also harms the environment. Plastic twine used for tying bricks is rigid and sturdy, suitable as a substitute for bamboo and rattan to weave handcrafted products, with comparable durability. This recycling effort also helps reduce the release of hard-to-decompose plastic waste into the environment.

“”””The plastic twine I collect, if in good condition and with beautiful colors, I weave into items for use at home, such as handbags and fruit baskets. For those twine pieces that are damaged or deformed, I weave them into decorative lanterns for coffee shops,”””” Mr. Le added.

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Decorative lanterns used for decoration in coffee shops.

This innovative approach by Mr. Nguyen Van Le not only reduces plastic waste but also showcases the potential for creative recycling solutions in addressing environmental challenges.

Knowing that Mr. Nguyen Van Le weaves plastic twine used for tying bricks into useful items, contributing to environmental protection, many construction material businesses in An Bien district, Kien Giang province, have collected a significant quantity and invited Mr. Le to collect it. Furthermore, some relatives, friends, and laborers working at construction sites often collect plastic twine and give it to Mr. Le to craft useful products.

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Mr. Nguyen Van Le weaves baskets for washing fish and meat.

Word of kindness spreads far, and in the past year, some cafes and restaurants have approached Mr. Nguyen Van Le to order lanterns and decorations.

“”””After collecting the twine used for tying bricks and bringing it home, I clean it thoroughly, remove any dust and cement residue, then sort it by color, bundle it up, and weave it into different products according to customer orders,”””” said Mr. Le.

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Household items made from recycled materials.

Many people praise the durability and quality of Mr. Nguyen Van Le’s products, such as handbags, fish baskets, and crates, which rival similar products available in the market.

“”””I used to not believe that these products were made from discarded materials because they look beautiful, clean, and durable. However, when I learned that Mr. Le utilizes discarded twine used for tying bricks to recycle into useful items and contribute to environmental protection, I decided to support him by making a purchase,”””” said Ms. Pham Thi Lan from Thứ Ba town, An Bien district.

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Products used for decoration in cafes.

Now, plastic handbags made from brick-tying twine by Mr. Nguyen Van Le are in high demand. Wholesalers purchase them for transporting fruits, shrimp in Dong Thap, Ca Mau, and Hau Giang provinces due to their sturdiness and quality. Some cafes in Kien Luong, Hon Dat, and Ha Tien districts of Kien Giang province order lanterns and antique decorations with wall patterns for decorating their cafes and restaurant entrances.

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Flower pots for ornamental plants.

“”””Even though I receive many orders, it takes me additional time to collect the twine, and the collected twine varies in color and length, not always meeting my preferences. However, I have never considered buying new twine for weaving. I think that this utilization is meant to contribute to environmental protection. Buying new twine for weaving would only worsen the environmental impact,”””” Mr. Nguyen Van Le candidly expressed.

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Recycled plastic twine used for tying bricks, transformed into ornamental flower pots by Mr. Nguyen Van Le.

The recycled products made from plastic twine used for tying bricks are priced between 35,000 VND to 250,000 VND depending on the type. This isn’t the main source of income for Mr. Le and his wife, but it brings joy and a sense of purpose to their later years.

“”””Although the income from weaving twine used for tying bricks is not substantial, I aim to educate our children and grandchildren about living green, reducing waste, and safeguarding our environment,”””” said Mr. Nguyen Van Le.

(Source: nhandan.vn)

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