COVID-19 lockdown gave our life a break. With so much time on hands, many saw it as an opportunity to explore new things and turn their hobbies mainstream. Flora Blathwayt, a resident of London, had a similar experience. She used the lockdown period to work on her hobby of making greeting cards. What is so interesting about it,you may ask. Well, Flora’s greeting cards are not just any random cards, but she uses microplastic waste (size smaller than 5 mm) to make her greetingsand gives them a different touch.
While she was doing it as a hobby, it was only during the lockdown that she took it as a venture. She had previously taken part in a beach cleaning event at River Thames in 2019 and had noticed a thing that may look obvious, but she had a different look at it. So, when she decided to take part in the beach cleaning drive in 2019, her expectation was to see a lot of plastic bottles, chips packets. Flora noticeda mind-boggling amount of microplastic waste (plastic less than 5mm in length) present there. Her very first creation out of these plastic wastes was a card she made for her sister’s wedding and it has continued as a hobby since then.
Flora, who worked at a condiment company in London, was furloughed during the lockdown and it was then that she decided to use it as an opportunity to take her hobby as a full-time business. Every piece of waste that she collects from the beach prompts a special design to her and she makes her hand-drawn cards around it, she also writes the name of the place where the piece was found behind every card.Speaking to Huffington Post about the process of the design, Flora said, “Each one is totally unique and inspired by the plastic I find beach cleaning. I love figuring out how to incorporate the bits of plastic into the designs.” Flora uses upcycled packaging material to wrap her cardsinstead of plastic wrapping. She acknowledged that her efforts will notmove a mountain in managing plastic waste, but she hopes that it at leastinspires others to contribute their bit and come up with new ideas for managing the waste.Keyword:covid 19, lockdown, plastic waste, greeting card, microplastic, waste, hobby, business.