Ambili Prasannakumar began to make the mats during the lockdown. She says that the mat making helped her to stay "tension free".
There have been many who have tried to minimise the use of plastic. For Ambili Prasannakumar, the sheer number of plastic items in her own home was too much for her to bear.
“It is difficult to go a day without encountering plastic, be it the milk cartons, food packages, food containers, water bottles, feminine hygiene products and the list goes on,” says the Pathanamthitta native.
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It was with the purpose to reduce the amount of plastic found in her trash at the end of the day, that Ambili found an alternative way to reuse plastic.
“It is really difficult to avoid plastic from our lives. Even if we try to use cloth bags and other alternatives, the reign of plastic doesn’t end there. While thinking about how to clean the plastic covers at home, I got an idea. ‘Why don’t I reuse the plastic without harming the environment’ — I wondered,” Ambili tells The Better India.
She decided to turn the plastic covers into a plastic table mat or a plastic carpet. An added benefit of using plastic mats is to protect the table from being exposed to heat from the vessel.
Ambili began to make the mats during the lockdown and now she doesn’t buy mats from outside any more. She says the mats can be used for many years and are washable too.
“I use my old nighties and other clothes at home for making the mat. If people know how to do embroidery, the table mats will definitely look prettier,” she says.
Turning plastics into mats, carpets
The owner of K&D Thread House also says that till date she hasn’t taken any orders for her mats, but she is helping others learn how to make mats.
“Everyone can make this easy table mat and carpet at home. There is no need to take orders and make a business out of it. I receive many calls regarding the mat, instead I always help them how to make it. I want others to also reuse the plastic at their home in a useful way like me without harming the environment. That is the only thing I aim to do by making these mats,” adds Ambili.
The 44-year-old is also planning to make fruit basket covers in the same way.
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Simple Steps To Make Plastic Table Mats:
Things required for the easy plastic mat are a scissor, two pieces of cloth, washed plastic covers, a needle and thread and laces.
Firstly, the washed plastic covers or the flattened plastic should be cut into “any shape, according to your preferences”. It can be rectangular or circular in shape. “Similarly, the two cloth pieces also should be cut into the same size of the plastic cover,” says Ambili.
For the second step the plastic cover should be placed in between the two cloth pieces. “After this, using a needle and thread the sides should be stitched. You can do this using a sewing machine or else hand stitching is also fine,” says Ambili.
Ambili adds that after the mat is sewn together, it can be laced with pretty embroidery for a more attractive look and pattern.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)