Chu Chu, which means 'plastic' in Burmese started in 2013 with just two workers, and now sells its products in Yangon and across the country (Source: phys.org)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – The Myanmar-based social enterprise "Chu Chu" has turned discarded clothes and rubbish into attractive handy accessories that drew the attention of many tourists.

Coffee sacks are woven into baskets and old tyres are refashioned as belts, some of the 60 products on offer at the organisation's shop in Dala, a short ferry ride from the bustling downtown of commercial hub Yangon.

By making things that are good quality, well constructed, nicely designed and beautiful, and can be considered useful, its staff are trying to change the way of thinking that recycled things are old and dirty.

Chu Chu, which means "plastic" in local language, started in 2013 with just two workers. Now it employs 45 local women and their products are sold at souvenir shops in Yangon and across the country.

Even the shop itself is made from reused waste. Plastic bottles cemented together form the walls and a roof made from old tyres provides insulation and protection during the punishing seasonal changes. The team suffers no shortage of raw materials.
For the moment, most customers are foreign tourists as Myanmar is still a long way from embracing recycling or recycled products, says Managing Director Wendy Neampui.

Myanmar has seen a huge spurt in development over the last few years after emerging from half a century of junta rule in 2011. But the increase in the availability of consumer goods has also caused waste levels to skyrocket, clogging city streets, fields and alleyways.-VNA