Rupjyoti Saikia Gogoi, an eco-entrepreneur in Assam, found an interesting way to tackle the rising plastic pollution and later turned it into a venture that now generates employment in more than 35 villages in the state.
Saikia resides near the Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site that is home to a plethora of wildlife and a popular tourist spot, which is often marred with scraps such as discarded bottles and wrappers.
An environment enthusiast, Saikia launched her venture 'Village Weaves' in 2004. She started collecting the plastic waste from different areas and upcycling them into traditional handloom items including doormats, table mats, handbags, and decorative pieces.
Saikia did not receive any training on the process but her concern to save the environment has been instrumental in scripting her success. She has reportedly trained over 2,000 women from the state as well as across the country about the sustainable process.
"I had started it in 2004 and tried to weave plastic waste. After initial success, I had started collecting discarded plastic waste from nearby areas and many other women in our area also got involved. I didn't take any special training on it. I am very much concerned about our environment," said the 47-year-old, reported India Today.
She further shared that her team has been making use of all kinds of plastic waste to add colours to handmade products. In 2012, they also started Kaziranga Haat to market and sell their products. Now, Saikia is making use of the digital platform to enable consumers in foreign nations to own these beautiful products.