As waste disposal becomes a pressing concern in the city, a group called Proinnovate has begun to promote the ‘upcycling’ of waste. The group, through its initiative ‘Kabaad ka Jugaad’, has organised a two-day event, Kabaad Mela, to showcase products made from recycled waste.
“The aim is to inspire, educate and engage more and more people to innovatively upcycle waste for creating a sustainable environment and to make a difference to the waste disposal concerns of our country,” said Harshil Vora, the man behind the initiative.
The event at a suburban mall on October 14-15 saw a variety of upcycled products on display. Around 40 products selected through an upcycling competition held between September 20 and October 7 were displayed. “Upcycling means creating a use for waste material to create a new product of same or higher value. It uses less energy and is cheaper.
Whereas, recycling is reprocessing the waste material to make a product of usually lower value. That process uses more energy. Hence, upcycling comes out as a better option,” Vora said. Various upcycled items displayed at the event included a polygenic raincoat (made from waste plastic bags), paper lamps (from waste newspapers) and a lantern made of discarded cups, among other items.
The event’s most popular element was the ‘live upcycling corner’, where various waste materials were kept and visitors could try their hand at upcycling. Rihanna Ashraf (32), a chartered accountant, said, “I tried making a sling pouch out of the pocket of torn jeans, it actually made me feel happy, as we usually throw such things out. I will now try more things like this at home.”
Ruzbeh Patell, another visitor, said the events organised using props made of upcycled goods were interesting too. “However, I feel such initiatives will work only if we have such exhibitions and events every week across the city,” she said. Other events at the fair included a debate, Trash Talk, a fashion upcycling competition, an obstacle race course and Kabaad Hunt, a treasure hunt for products to upcycle.
Vora (21) claimed the concept of upcyling waste would help Mumbai and other mega cities grappling with the problem of waste disposal. “We are trying to create awareness about our initiative. We are looking at organising more and more workshops. However, like many other initiatives, we too are facing shortage of funds. Environmentalists and like-minded people can come forward to help. We too are approaching people,” he said.