People in Keralux expressed concern about the level trash on their streets. During our time in the community, we determined that this was primarily due to a lack of waste separation prior to disposal, catadores’ habits as they search for higher value waste in trash, people’s tendency to dispose of waste (particularly micro-waste) indiscriminately, and animals ripping bin bags awaiting collection.
We discussed many possible solutions to this issue as a team and with the community; based on this we decided to work on adding value to the abundance of low-value materials which are thrown away right now. Our hope is that this would not only decrease the amount of trash on streets, but also change people’s perspectives on those materials and create income-generating businesses in the community. After the field research, we saw a big potential in changing plastic PET bottles into something useful, so currently we are developing techniques to strip plastic bottles in various widths. Depending on the community’s demand, those strips can be used to make bags, accessories, baskets and many other things; however, we are hoping to use them not only for beautiful objects, but also for functional objects such as roof tiles.