Water is sold in plastic bags all over Ghana and, while providing clean drinking water for millions, it also creates a waste problem that G-lish aims to reduce.
One pure water plastic bag of 500 ml water sits atop 10 bunches of recycled plastic twine to make recycled Bolga baskets, generating fair trade incomes in Ghana.
Ten bunches of twine is 1000 pieces of plastic twine which is 1000 recycled plastic bags.
G-lish weavers use 270-300 recycled plastic bag twines in every recycled Bolga basket.
Since G-lish began producing baskets using recycled pure water plastic bags in 2010, we have consumed 368,000 plastic bags. The fact that each Modern Basket uses at least 270 pure water plastic bags means that we consume a lot of recycled plastic every year.
When we collect the twine from the individuals in our community who cut and twist them into twine, we record every 200 pieces of twine in a spreadsheet. That's because G-lish Foundation pays the cutter of the plastic and twister of twine by the 200 pieces.
Because when we first started G-lish in 2010, the baskets were smaller and 200 were used, on average, in each one. It was easy to count 2 x 100 bunches of twine and record an even number. Even though baskets now use closer to 270-300 pieces on average, it's still our practice to count and record by the 200.
This helps us organise payments and helps us track how much plastic each basket uses.
If you look at a close up of a basket, you will see that every second line is plastic; this is the pure water bags. You can also see the base of the handles is pure water twine.
A lot of people ask about pure water plastic bags we use in production. This is one of them next to our basket. Zoom in on the basket and you can see that every second row is plastic! The colours of plastic and cloth blend together.
We think upcycling into beautiful, functional, sculptural baskets that preserve a traditional craft and generate high levels of income is the best outcome for the masses of waste plastic in Ghana. Buy G-lish recycled Bolga baskets here.