Renuka Krishnan teaches Grade 6 and 7 pupils how to recycle T-shirts into bags. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Renuka Krishnan teaches Grade 6 and 7 pupils how to recycle T-shirts into bags. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Recycling bags suits family to a T



DUBAI // A mother’s idea to turn unwanted T-shirts into bags is helping to inspire a generation of young people to be more aware of the environment.

Each year UAE residents use millions of plastic bags but many have little thought to the environmental damage that is causing to the country.

For Renuka Krishnan, eco-school parent coordinator at Gems World Academy, it was a problem that could be solved with a little creative thinking.

“I’ve been using reusable cloth bags for the past nine years or so,” Mrs Krishnan said. “This is an issue that people just don’t think about when they are shopping but it has a big impact on the environment.”

Mrs Krishnan, who has two sons who attend the school, came up with the idea of turning T-shirts into bags three years ago.

“Although there are shops that offer reusable bags very few customers opt to get them and I think the cost plays a factor in that,” she said. “Trying to convince people to bring their shopping own bags is a big challenge.”

Over the years as her two sons have become older a lot of clothes ended up being discarded, she said.

“The good ones always found a new home but the stained, old T-shirts were the hardest to discard,” she said. “Some of them got recycled into cleaning cloths while others were sewed, by me, into T-shirt bags.

“I tried using them to replace the plastic bags that stored fresh produce in the refrigerator. They worked really well for me and since the last three years, I have been using T-shirt bags.”

Mrs Krishnan, who is the school’s eco-school parent coordinator, shared her idea with staff and so far it has been well received.

In the past two weeks she has received about 300 T-shirts which have been turned into bags.

“It takes about 15 minutes to sew T-shirts into bags and we teach pupils at the school how to do it. The aim is that it rubs off on their parents and then into the wider community.”

Tanisha Mehrotra, 10, an American Grade six pupil at the school has been closely involved in the initiative.

“I can convert about five T-shirts into bags per hour,” she said. “First we cut off the sleeves and then widen the neck collar. We stitch the bottom up and tidy up the neck area so that it’s neater and easier to use.”

The scheme has had a positive impact on students as well as parents, she said.

“It’s really important that we try to reduce our dependency on plastic bags because not only do they get sent to landfills but they also litter the environment and pose a risk to animals.”

Her mother Nandita uses the bags for shopping trips.

“I have a small one in my handbag and it comes in handy for groceries,” she said. “It’s been very easy to use and has come in handy when I’ve been out and about.”

Reusing and recycling unwanted T-shirts is an ingeniously simple solution to reducing waste, she said.

“It’s as much about trying to change people’s lifestyles as it is about getting them to be more environmentally aware,” said Mrs Mehrotra.

For more details about the initiative email Renuka Krishnan at teebagsuae@gmail.com or visit the “Give a Tee Take a Bag” Facebook page.

nhanif@thenational.ae

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Dubai Creek Open in numbers
  • The Dubai Creek Open is the 10th tournament on this year's Mena Tour
  • It is the first of five events before the season-concluding Mena Tour Championship
  • This week's field comprises 120 players, 21 of which are amateurs
  • 15 previous Mena Tour winners are competing at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Where to submit a sample

Volunteers of all ages can submit DNA samples at centres across Abu Dhabi, including: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre+(Adnec), Biogenix Labs in Masdar City, NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City, NMC Royal Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, NMC Royal Women's Hospital, Bareen International Hospital, Al Towayya in Al Ain, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain

Company profile

Date started: 2015

Founder: John Tsioris and Ioanna Angelidaki

Based: Dubai

Sector: Online grocery delivery

Staff: 200

Funding: Undisclosed, but investors include the Jabbar Internet Group and Venture Friends

If you go...

Fly from Dubai or Abu Dhabi to Chiang Mai in Thailand, via Bangkok, before taking a five-hour bus ride across the Laos border to Huay Xai. The land border crossing at Huay Xai is a well-trodden route, meaning entry is swift, though travellers should be aware of visa requirements for both countries.

Flights from Dubai start at Dh4,000 return with Emirates, while Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi start at Dh2,000. Local buses can be booked in Chiang Mai from around Dh50

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Tips for holiday homeowners

There are several factors for landlords to consider when preparing to establish a holiday home:

  • Revenue potential of the unit: location, view and size
  • Design: furnished or unfurnished. Is the design up to standard, while being catchy at the same time?
  • Business model: will it be managed by a professional operator or directly by the owner, how often does the owner wants to use it for personal reasons?
  • Quality of the operator: guest reviews, customer experience management, application of technology, average utilisation, scope of services rendered

Source: Adam Nowak, managing director of Ultimate Stay Vacation Homes Rental

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

Results

5.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Dirt) 1,600m, Winner: Panadol, Mickael Barzalona (jockey), Salem bin Ghadayer (trainer)

6.05pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m, Winner: Mayehaab, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass

6.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh85,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Monoski, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer

7.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh102,500 (T) 1,800m, Winner: Eastern World, Royston Ffrench, Charlie Appleby

7.50pm: Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Madkal, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass

8.25pm: Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (T) 1,200m, Winner: Taneen, Dane O’Neill, Musabah Al Muhairi

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

RACE CARD

6.30pm Mazrat Al Ruwayah – Group 2 (PA) $36,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm Handicap (TB) $68,000 (Turf) 2,410m

7.40pm Meydan Trophy – Conditions (TB) $50,000 (T) 1,900m

8.15pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 - Group 2 (TB) $293,000 (D) 1,900m

8.50pm Al Rashidiya – Group 2 (TB) $163,000 (T) 1,800m

9.25pm Handicap (TB) $65,000 (T) 1,000m

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

The Bio

Name: Lynn Davison

Profession: History teacher at Al Yasmina Academy, Abu Dhabi

Children: She has one son, Casey, 28

Hometown: Pontefract, West Yorkshire in the UK

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite Author: CJ Sansom

Favourite holiday destination: Bali

Favourite food: A Sunday roast

The cost of Covid testing around the world

Egypt

Dh514 for citizens; Dh865 for tourists

Information can be found through VFS Global.

Jordan

Dh212

Centres include the Speciality Hospital, which now offers drive-through testing.

Cambodia

Dh478

Travel tests are managed by the Ministry of Health and National Institute of Public Health.

Zanzibar

AED 295

Zanzibar Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, located within the Lumumba Secondary School compound.

Abu Dhabi

Dh85

Abu Dhabi’s Seha has test centres throughout the UAE.

UK

From Dh400

Heathrow Airport now offers drive through and clinic-based testing, starting from Dh400 and up to Dh500 for the PCR test.

SPEC SHEET

Processor: Apple M2, 8-core GPU, 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.3-inch Retina, 2560 x 1600, 227ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3 (2), 3.5mm audio; Touch Bar with Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Battery: 58.2Wh lithium-polymer, up to 20 hours

Camera: 720p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10, ProRes

Audio: Stereo speakers with HDR, wide stereo, Spatial Audio support, Dolby support

In the box: MacBook Pro, 67W power adapter, USB-C cable

Price: From Dh5,499

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8