1 March 2017

Upcycling Newspaper

The daily newspaper delivered at your doorstep every morning holds its value for a few hours of that day. When the day is over, the newspaper is trashed to an unused remote corner or shelf of your house. Without going into the details of the effort that went to generate that quantity of news in a newspaper, do we realize the huge quantity of newspaper trash that is created in every household of a city or town? If we multiply the amount into the average number of cities in a state and then number of states in our country, it amounts to tons of newspaper in a day and, once the day has passed, the monetary value of that amount of paper is nearly zero.

ACT has tapped this immense potential of creating something useful out of this easily available, inexpensive and unlimited trash. The biggest motivation is that ACT will have a continuous supply of this resource material. Therefore the issue of resource crunch does not exist. ACT has worked to harness the concept of upcycling the newspapers.

Why upcycling?

Because it is superior than recycling by several ways: cost effective, leaves no carbon footprint, no additional machinery needed. Recycling involves processing the resource material further to produce a product. The processing may involve adding more material or using a machine and electricity, thereby inviting considerable expense in the recycling process. 

Upcycling means reusing the resource material in an innovative way to produce a purposeful product that is more valuable than the original material. ACT decided to upcycle newspaper to create eco-friendly and useful household products. Imagine the newspaper trash lying in your corner shelf transforming into a beautiful tea table, a wall clock, a pen holder, a table runner, a flower vase, natural jewellery and many more beautiful artifacts. Isn’t this creative magic? ACT has made that true for you.

A group of professional designers train the rural women members of ACT. A few women are also explicitly groomed into master trainers. The master trainers are instrumental into bringing in more villages into this effort of upcycling newspaper.

The process starts with designing the end product, collection of newspapers, sorting the papers,  cutting them precisely, and using the techniques of  folding, quilling, coiling and weaving  papers to form the framework of the product. Glue is used to make the products strong and sturdy. Then the paper objects are assembled together to form the final product. Several variations are given to the products by means of color, varnish, shades, and sizes.

The ACT team is constantly working to enhance the look and quality of the products. The criteria of this quality assurance process are to maintain a high standard for the aesthetics and usability of the products. Customer feedback plays a vital role in forming the standards. The catalogue is expanded on a regular basis. The latest addition to the group of stationary products is pens, pencils, and notebooks. ACT aspires to have an eco-friendly substitute of any household product you name.

Through this initiative  and the brand name of  the upcycled paper products called Paper Wings, ACT has created a win-win situation for all: Training rural women to upcycle newspaper into useful household products to generate their livelihood and consequently ACT's commitment towards environmental upkeep and sustenance is also fulfilled.

ACT’s products are sold at various avenues. It all started through word of mouth and today these products are very popular among ACT’s friends and well-wishers. Today ACT has grown to produce bulk orders for fairs, exhibitions, corporate conferences, stores, hotels, and airports.

The creators, our very own rural women crafters, have found a way to generate sustainable income from these bulk orders.

The other avenues of livelihood are: The master trainers earn by imparting training to other villages, conducting workshops for schools, corporates and other platforms on upcycling and generating awareness about embracing the upcycled products.

In conclusion, ACT products showcase the concept of upcycling to generate sustainable livelihood in an environment-friendly manner.

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