March, Women from the Dawoodi Bohra community of Leicester upcycled over 100 milk bottles into reusable decorative boxes as part of ‘Happy Nests’
, an upliftment initiative by the community to repurpose and upcycle plastic waste by transforming it into useful products and artefacts. These boxes were used to give community members a slice of homemade cake along with their FMB food tiffin to show just how easy it is to reuse and recycle.
Earlier this year, over 90 single-use plastic drinks bottles were collected and converted into planters, which were then distributed to members along with a packet of compost and seeds to encourage everyone to start recycling and upcycling from home.
This upcycle initiative forms part of the community’s global ‘Turning the Tide Against Plastic Pollution’ campaign which strives to eliminate single-use plastic and rid bodies of water of plastic pollution. Bohras from across the world regularly lead practical efforts to protect, enhance and clean-up the natural environment while raising awareness of the need for sustainable development.
When approached to share about the great work being carried out, a member of Happy Nests Leicester said, “Plastic is all around us. Most of it used temporarily and then thrown away. We go through about 6 plastic milk cartons at home in a week and this made me think, why not turn these cartons into something useful and permanent? With the home organising trends going on, I decided to turn one milk carton into a reusable box. These boxes have come in handy from packing fruits for the kids to organising their toys and stationery. Upcycling made me realise that we have the power to give life to something that would normally be discarded.”
Happy Nests particularly endeavours to encourage the younger generation to be more mindful. During the February school half-term break, a two-day online upcycling camp was organized to teach kids the effects of plastic pollution on the Earth and how they can make a difference. The Marine Conservation Society inspired them to base the camp theme on ‘Marine Life’, educating the kids on how plastic is affecting the sea and marine life. The camp demonstrated how different items found at home can be recycled and upcycled for further use.
Dawoodi Bohras believe every citizen is responsible for reducing plastic usage and by working together, we can make a huge difference and turn the tide on plastic pollution.