The Royal Castle in Warsaw has found a new way to cut down on waste. Its old advertisement banners have been reused by transforming them into shopping bags and backpacks.
The banners, which hang on the castle’s clocktower to advertise temporary exhibitions, had previously been simply discarded for recycling after the show closed, reports Gazeta Wyborcza. Under the new scheme, the five-metre-long banners are resewn into bags, which are available at the castle’s museum shop and from its online store.
The first bags were made from banners advertising the 36 x Rembrandt and A Parade of the Kings of Poland exhibitions, which closed last year.
Z banerów wystaw #36xRembrandt i #PoczetKrólówPolski uszyliśmy torby i plecaki miejskie (typu roll top).
Są ekologiczne i niepowtarzalne, ponieważ każdy z nich został uszyty z innego fragmentu banera. #zerowaste pic.twitter.com/iItYBFulUp
— Zamek Królewski w Warszawie – Muzeum (@Zamek_Krolewski) January 10, 2020
The material used for the advertising banners, a polyester mesh, makes the bags durable, waterproof and lightweight, and they can also fit A4-sized documents. They retail at 65 zloty for the backpack, and 50 zloty for the shopping bag.
Royal Castle spokesperson Dorota Piskorska suggested that the scheme would help to protect the environment, adding that useful material should not be wasted “if it can continue to serve”.
Piskorska also notes that every bag is unique and part of a limited edition. Speaking to Radio RDC, she said, “Each of them is sewn from a different part of the banner, and numbers are limited, as we managed to sew 30 backpacks and 50 bags from one of our banners.”
The next batch will feature the light colours advertising the castle’s most recent temporary exhibition, The World of the Polish Vasas. “We joke that it will be our spring-summer collection,” says Piskorska.
In the fashion world, there is a growing move towards eco-friendly living. According to a recent survey by Accenture, as reported by Polsat News, 73% of respondents were willing to pay more for products from ecological materials.
However, the survey also revealed that Polish consumers wear only 57% of the clothes they have in their wardrobes regularly, while 5% of clothes still have their price tags attached and 12% remain unworn.
The recycling rate more generally in Poland is around 25%, though the European Union requires Poland to achieve a 50% rate by the end of this year. According to Gazeta.pl, every inhabitant of Poland produces several times more rubbish than their own weight each year and, in total, 12 million tonnes of municipal waste are collected.
There has been increasing awareness of environmental issues in Poland in recent years, and “climate” was named one of the words of the year for 2019, when the government set up a new climate ministry. However, following the European Council summit in December, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poland was the only member state not to have signed up to the EU’s goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.