Good morning teachers and students my topic talk is about Upcycling at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.   What is upcycling? It is when you turn waste into useful things like designer bags, umbrellas and footwear. My Aunty Liz was involved with Conserve India which is a upcycling company in Delhi that makes handmade recycled plastic products from old plastic bags. The Conserve Delhi project was formed to make bags from the Commonwealth Games waste.

What did they upcycle and how was it done?

All the vinyl banners and athletes flags from the Games were collected by rag pickers and put in a shed.   The rag pickers are people from Delhi's poorest communities who are employed by Conserve India to pick up rubbish. An average rag picker gets paid $25 a month but Conserve India‚Äôs pays $70 a month and also offers training to its workers so that they can do better jobs from manufacturing to working in the head office. Next the banners were taken back to the sampling unit to clean, sort out and work on bag designs.   Once the designs are done then the bags are made.


What other things were made from the Games waste?
Rag pickers collect thousands of plastic bags a day in New Delhi. They then sort them on the basis of colour and wash them. No dyes are used and the original colour of the plastic bags is kept.   The bags are then moulded into thick sheets and stitched into colourful handbags, belts, footwear and other things.

Why is it so important to upcycle?
By the end of the Games there was about 3000 tonnes of waste.   This would have normally gone to landfills but instead was upcycled and turned into something useful.   It helps the environment and it also gets people to appreciate that good things can be made out of waste. It also provides jobs for the poor people. Conserve India employs 300 workers from lower income groups and also supports schools in the slums where many of its employees live.

Was Delhi Commonwealth...