The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 21 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Recycled newspapers get a handy avatar

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 20: Students of Buxi Jagabandhu English Medium (BJEM) School here sent across an eco-friendly message today by making funky shopping bags out of newspapers and gifting them to shoppers in the city.

“This is part of a global campaign to reduce the use of plastic and polythene bags to a bare minimum and replace them with newspaper bags that are fashionable and promote awareness about environmental issues,” said Alok Mohanty, a student of Dhauli Art College, who is a volunteer of a city-based youth group that organised the campaign.

The group of 60-odd students used about 15kgs of old newspapers to make the bags. “One bag used six sheets of paper, glue and rope, and was ready in five to seven minutes. We painted quirky and traditional designs on them. Each bag can carry about eight to 10 kg of stuff,” said Soumya, a student.

The volunteers only used printed newspapers to make the bags. “We are trying to spread the message of recycling. Creation of resources can be high only when we reduce wastage,” said Sneha Mitra, another volunteer and student of Ramadevi Women’s College here.

This project was today undertaken in 18 countries simultaneously to craft one-lakh paper bags, said the organisers.

“This is an initiative of Inspiration Unlimited, an international NGO, to encourage a new trend of using paper bags. Since plastic and polythene are non-biodegradable, we joined hands for this project to create a safe and healthy environment for people,” said Ananta, a young professional involved in the campaign.

The students visited three major shopping hubs in the city — Unit-I market, Big Bazaar and Ekamra Haat — and presented the eco-friendly bags to the shoppers.

“It is a great effort on part of the youngsters to spread awareness against the use of plastic. The kids also gave me tips about making paper bags at home,” said Namita Ray, a homemaker.