Uppinangady, Sep 4, 2017: A class 10 girl student from Uppinangady Dakshina Kannada district, is making pen shells from areca sheaths. Alisha Jose, a girl student of the Indraprastha Vidyalaya in Uppinangady, has crafted hundreds of pen shells from areca sheaths.Easily available areca leaf sheath is now used for different eco-friendly purposes such as utensils.
“I often see lots of used ballpoint pens while cleaning my room. My dad said throwing them out or burning them would damage the environment, so I thought of alternatives,” Alisha explained.
She tried making pen shells with other bio-degradable materials like plantain leaves but they weren’t durable. The fallen sheaths in an arecanut plantation near her house worked well, she found.
Alisha Jose makes and distributes about 20 pen shells every day, embedding a seed or two of wild trees inside them, which may germinate when the shells are disposed off.
High school students use about 50 use-and-throw pens in a year; the count multiplies exponentially if all students are considered. “If all of them use eco-friendly pens, we can grow trees instead of generating plastic waste,” Alisha says.