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Second Life of Banners

At Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, unwanted advertising banners go to a tailor's workshop instead of going to the landfill. There, they are made into aesthetically pleasing and durable shopping bags. The ecological project under the name “Second Life of Banners" is a joint initiative of the JSW promotion team and volunteers from the Senior Citizens Club in Połomia.

photos: Jacek Stefaniak

After last year's celebration of JSW's 30th anniversary, many promotional banners remained in the company's warehouses. They are made of plastic, and the area of the largest ones reaches 90 sqm. 

“Concern for the environment is one of the priorities of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa. Used banners are tens of kilograms of plastic, which is expensive and cumbersome to dispose of. We decided to find a way to utilize them in a way that is useful to people and the environment. This is how the "Second Life of Banners" project was created," explains Katarzyna Bajer, head of JSW's promotion team.

The first idea concerned an animal shelter. This type of material is often used, for example, as a cover in dog kennels.

“It turned out that nearby facilities were well-stocked and had no use for them. Then we thought of bags, the kind for larger, heavier shopping. The material of our banners is durable and waterproof. It does not absorb odors and is very easy to clean, which means that the bags will be practical and can be used for many years," emphasizes Katarzyna Bajer. “Our employees will receive the bags free of charge, so they will be an excellent alternative to paid, disposable bags from shops. They, too, are most often made of plastic, so the benefit to the environment will be double," adds the head of the promotion team.

The problem turned out to be finding a sewing shop. The banners are made of plastic that is difficult to tailor. The tailoring is time-consuming and requires skill and the right equipment. Besides, commercial tailor shops do not have free capacity. Volunteers from the Senior Citizens Club in Połomia, Mszana municipality, came to the rescue.

“When JSW approached us to help sew bags from unwanted banners, I knew immediately that this ecological project would appeal to the ladies of our Senior Citizens Club. These are active and enterprising women who are eager to take on new challenges. The ecological dimension of the project was an added incentive for them. Sewing has no secrets for our volunteers as they have been running their households for years. We have adequate technical facilities at the Cultural Center in Połomia, because four years ago the JSW Foundation financed the purchase of professional sewing machines. We have the capacity and there is tremendous enthusiasm, so the women immediately volunteered to work," stresses Aleksandra Wita, director of the Municipal Cultural and Recreation Center in Mszana. 

Ten volunteers in the sewing studio meet once or twice a week, spending two to three hours each time sewing bags.

“For us, it is not a job, we enjoy each other's company and are happy to get together. It's important that in addition to sharing coffee and cake, we can do something together that matters to the environment. This gives us a lot of satisfaction and mobilizes us for action. It is good that JSW thought of us when organizing this initiative," assures Leokadia Adamczyk of the Senior Citizens Club.

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