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The journey of rags to bags

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

On the occasion of paper bag day, Rotaract Club of Thane Premium organised a learning session. We asked people to get basic supplies like newspapers, old paper bags, coloured paper, scissors, glue, thread, pen and markers. The aim was teach people how to make paper bags so that they could start implementing it immediately. We urged people to attend the session and take a tiny step to make the earth a little greener.

The session began by introducing our President, Secretary and the PCP i.e me. Among the participators, we had a COVID warrior, Dr Ruchita Taware who was working at Gokuldas Tejpal hospital. She told us that she stayed in a hotel away from the hospital. It would take her 25 mins to walk to work. President Rtr. Sagar Pawar appreciated her efforts and we applauded and thanked her for her selfless service. Dr. Ruchita reminded us that prevention is better than cure and enlightened us on various issue with the most important being the amount of plastic we have been utilising.

According to the statistics from 2018, India generates approximately 2600 truckloads of plastic waste every day which is 26,000 tonnes per day (TPD).

Paper bags are an environment- friendly alternative to the toxic plastic bags. Every year on 12 July Paper Bag Day is celebrated worldwide. The day intends to spread consciousness about the usage of paper bags over plastic bags. They say nothing lasts forever, but plastic!

We asked the people attending the session to mention benefits of using paper bags and their answers were:

-         They are biodegradable.

-         They are eco friendly.

-         They are cheap to manufacture.

-         They are classy.

-         They can be reused and recycled.

-         They can be easily made at home.

-         They help to reuse newspapers, magazines, etc.

Rtr.Vaibhav Andhere taught us to make paper bags. We then discussed the use of paper bags. We realized how a small effort could make a big difference. We also wrote a small message on the bags to create awareness.

Ganpati festival is the most awaited and celebrated festival in Maharashtra. Due to the pandemic, this year people are not going to be able to celebrate their dear festival the way they used to. Also due to the lockdown in certain areas getting stuff apart from the essentials is a big problem.

To help people in this difficulty and to encourage eco-friendly decorations Rtr Vaibhav and I taught everyone to make paper flowers and paper butterflies. We used old envelopes, newspapers, magazines and torn paper bags for the same. It was a wonderful way of reusing things that we don’t normally care about. By the end of the session, all the participants had made a paper bag, a flower and a butterfly.

We had guest participants, Rotaractors from RCNMHS, RCTC, RCTNE and RCTP and a DCM who attended the session. Overall it was quite a learning session, we created awareness and implemented things then and there. It was fun, we made some new friends and bonded over some reused pieces of paper.

We urge you to take a small step, be it switching off lights and fan when not necessary, closing taps tightly, planting a sapling. We are overusing our resources, we have polluted Mother Earth to a vast extent. The pandemic has hit us bad already, lets try to redeem the earth.

Happy Paper bad day to all!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Signing off,

Rtr.Shamika Memane.

Editor & Joint International Service Director, RCTP.

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