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How We Began

Blog

The blog for G-lish Foundation in Ghana

How We Began

Gayle Pescud

Our tiny granny flat in Bolga was filling fast with thousands of plastic bags we saved from the water we drank in 2009 when we first moved to Bolga. Little did we know we were surrounded by #value in the form of #rubbish. I refused to burn them, as most people do, or throw them on the ground, as is also common practice. So, our office turned into a plastic bag storage facility. I tried plaiting them after cutting them. No good. Then one day, Godwin was bored with malaria (it drives you to odd behaviour) and he began cutting the bags in a new way. Then he rubbed the strip against his leg, as you do with straw, and it turned into twine, the same way straw twines are made for baskets. That was our "aha" moment.

 These are the pure water plastic bags we recycle into every basket and wall art hanging

These are the pure water plastic bags we recycle into every basket and wall art hanging

We called his cousin, Edna, to come and try making a basket. I spent a week cutting, Godwin spent a week twisting, and Edna spent a week weaving on our bedroom floor beside our mattress, then on the floor. That's how it began. With plastic. It turned out we could make beautiful baskets using plastic--it had never been done before in Ghana. It was innovative and transformative. It laid the foundation for our ethos which was environmentally sustainable income generating projects to reduce poverty in rural communities in Ghana. 

This water cost 2.5 cents per bag (500 ml) at the time. Each twine is made from one whole plastic bag. We've used over 450,000 bags in 2017.