Without a doubt, plastics are one of the main contributors of pollution to the earth we live in. One piece of plastic can travel to great lengths before it can even disintegrate. Unless, it is burned, which in turn will be the cause of air pollution.

While plastic can be of convenience to us, it can, at times, endanger another. Take, for example, a plastic bag thrown at the beach. With just a soft wind blow, it will then sway to the sea, and cause problems as some sea creatures might think it is food.

 

This is a great concern for many environmentalists and animal lovers. Fortunately, with the growing awareness of the issue, many organisations, parties and individuals are working towards reducing it.

In Malaysia for example, fast-food chains such as Mcdonald’s and KFC are reducing the use of plastic by abstaining the use of straws within their premises.

In Kuching, Sarawak, 25-year-old Amanda Lee Ying Ying takes it upon herself to introduce an environmental-friendly hobby to the community — plastic crochet. The lass is also a finalist for Miss Earth Malaysia 2019, and her advocacy is to minimise the use of single-use plastics.

Amanda during her crochet workshop.
Amanda Lee is also a finalist for Miss Earth Malaysia 2019 pageant.

The crochet artist had learned the art of weaving yarn from her mother since she was 10. “She started with teaching me how to crochet scarves. All of my initial projects were full of holes. I practised on and off over the years and found the activity very soothing,” said Amanda. Realising that she has a knack for crocheting, she decided to share her interest with the local community through her start-up, ‘HookNook.Kch’ two years ago.

Having already conducted three basic crochet workshops, she explained that her love for the hobby was because it allowed her to free her mind, as well as to create cute and meaningful gifts to give to people. “I love seeing their reactions upon receiving them as I try to make them as customisable as possible,” she added.

Wanting to do a little more for the Kuching community and the environment, Amanda will be organising a ‘Crochet Plastic Workshop’ at the Marian Boutique Lodging House, Kuching on August 4 from 1pm to 5pm.

Through working with single-use plastics, the workshop will teach participants a different way of upcycling. Participants are required to bring old and unwanted plastic bags, and it will be made into PLARN (plastic yarn).

“I believe this workshop will encourage the community to upcycle single-use plastics wherever they can. My hope is also that when people realise how much plastic waste we consume, they will be more aware and reduce their use of single-use plastic,” a concern Amanda said.

Why does she want to help Mother’s Earth? She answered, “Our Earth is our only home and, at the current state of things, it is dying. We only have one chance to make sure it is sustainable for our coming generations. We can still make a difference and save our home but only if everybody bands together and do their part.”

Apart from that, the Miss Earth Malaysia 2019 finalist had also organised an Ecobrick workshop in collaboration with Ecobrick Project Sarawak and UCSI University Sarawak to teach the students of UCSI and the community how to make Ecobricks using their plastic waste materials.

She believes that from all her effort in creating an awareness of plastic wastage, more people can put plastic to good use rather than harming the environment. Furthermore, with her involvement in the Miss Earth Malaysia pageant, she hopes that the platform can help magnify her voice, “to encourage everyone to see that even though they are just one person, every little action counts and it does make a difference.”

Those interested in her future endeavour with the environment can give her a follow at her Instagram account at @alyy0330, and also @missearthmalaysia. Her works with crochet can be followed through the Instagram handle @hooknook.kch.