CREATIVE MINDS

From bathing to washing dishes, alternative ways Kenyans are using woven bags

Other than storage, Kenyans have proved that woven bags can be used for other things.

In Summary

• PP woven and non-woven bags are versatile, strong, recyclable, and they have a low environmental impact.

• Unlike polythene bags which was used for storage, Kenyans have proved that woven bags can be used for other things.

A woven carrier bag
A woven carrier bag
Image: Margaret Wanjiru

Many African countries are leading the world in finding solutions to plastic pollution through legislative mechanisms.

Nearly five years ago in August 2017, Kenya issued a ban on single-use plastic bags.

A ban which NEMA said last week was 95 per cent successful.

“We have managed plastic carrier bags quite well with the support of other government agencies," director general Mamo B Mamo said on Wednesday.

PP woven and non-woven bags are versatile, strong, recyclable, and they have a surprisingly low environmental impact on plastic material.

However, Kenyans have looked for alternative ways of using those woven carrier bags.

Before, plastic bags were used
Before, plastic bags were used
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest
  1. Garbage and trash bags

Before, a section of Kenyans would put plastic bags inside a bin to hold waste from food remains and trash in order to keep the container clean.

Now, some have replaced that with the woven  bags

person taking a shower
person taking a shower
Image: Reuters
  1. Bathing

A good number of Kenyans have converted carrier bags into bathing tools.

James Maina, 34, told the Star on Thursday that once he started using the carrier bags to bathe, he never looked back.

“Bathing towels are so expensive nowadays, one goes for S.200. Also, where I stay you hang one to air dry and it's stolen come the next day,” Maina said.

“One time, I got tired of buying them and looked for this other alternative.”

A person cleaning
A person cleaning
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest
  1. Washing dishes and cleaning surfaces

A few women and men have confessed to either using or wanting to use the carrier bags for household cleaning.

They said they used the smaller carrier bags that go for Sh10 or Sh20, to either clean the utensils or wipe down dusty windows and tables.

A shopper carrying goods in a plastic bag,./COURTESY
A shopper carrying goods in a plastic bag,./COURTESY
  1. Storage

The bags are also being used to store household items like clothes, documents and paper works, extra hair from the salon or wigs or utensils.

Some use it to carry ‘miraa’ or ‘muguka’ leaves when on the move.

Since they are recyclable and reusable, these bags are very convenient.

A broken window
A broken window
Image: Margaret Wanjiru
  1. To cover holes and broken windows

To cover various holes in the house corners or broken windows, some people are using carrier bags to prevent foreign things from intruding on their privacy.

A wooven carrier bag
A wooven carrier bag
Image: Margaret Wanjiru
  1. To tie things.

When cut into smaller stripes, these bags can be used to tie sacks, an alternative to ropes.

Image: Courtesy; Pinterest

    To make masks

Meltblown polypropylene is used as the middle layer of many certified medical masks and in the manufacture of respirators such as N95 because it filters very well

So, what are the other alternative ways you are using these bags?