Pillow instead Plastic Smog

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Varkala, India, 2009/10. Upon entering into our own house in India, the house owner points to our question “Where to recycle plastic trash?” to a pile of waste burning in the neighbor’s garden. I am terrified by the thought of polluting the air with burning plastics, and decide that for the whole 6 months that I will stay in this house I am not going to burn any one piece of it. Instead I get the idea of recycling it in a creative way.

I decide to make a pillow, one for sitting comfortable on the ground. During the half year in Varkala my husband is washing all the plastics and drying them on our clothesline outside. Those plastics which are not reusable as shopping bags themselves, I cut down into tiny little pieces with a pair of scissors. The pieces are so small, that even a formerly harder plastic part becomes soft in combination with the other plastic flakes.

At the end of my stay in this house I cut one leg of the old trousers I had brought from Europe, sew one ending, fill the plastic “feathers” inside, and sew it close. The result is a slightly heavy, practical, and comfy pillow, best to be used for sitting on the floor.

Remark: For the proper implementation of such project on a bigger scale, which indeed could have a positive impact on environmental issues, I suggest to get a file shredder or similar to make the plastic cutting process an easier and faster one.

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