There is a big market for second-hand flexes: Swabhimaan
By Bhawana Anand - April 25, 2018
The NGO is associated with various high-buzz events like IPL, Pinkathon and TCS 10K Marathon to collect and recycle their flex banners and make 1,000 bags per month
Bengaluru-based NGO Swabhimaan is playing a key role in flex recycling. The NGO was established three years ago when the plastic ban was enforced in Karnataka. The organisation worked with the underprivileged segment of society to make cloth bags that took the place of plastic bags in the shops. In time, Swabhiman also started to collect flexes for recycling. Today, the organisation is associated with various high-buzz events like IPL, Pinkathon and TCS 10K Marathon to collect and recycle their flex banners and make 1,000 bags per month.
Venkatraman Iyer who started this NGO said: “We approached the Bengaluru market with an alternative for plastic bags i.e. cloth bags during the time of the plastic ban. At the same time, big events like TCS 10K and Pinkathon were organised which involved an enormous amount of flex banners. Since these were organised in the month of May-June which happens to be the monsoon season; the idea came to us that we can re-use these flexes as rooftops to stop leakages in their houses and also make bags with this strong material for buyers”.
One event such as TCS 10K provides around 125,000 sq.ft of flex material and this IPL season the NGO is expecting to collect around 10,000 sq.ft of material. “There is a huge market for the second hand flex material; earlier we used to buy them at a minimal cost. And with this initiative we kind of provide an extended life to these flexes by reusing them; otherwise after the campaign is over they are dumped into the landfills harming the environment,” said Iyer.
As there are different sizes of flexes that come from different outdoor sites; all sizes can’t be utilised. “The small size flexes are difficult to use; large flexes are more useful for recycling,” said Iyer.