Man creatively uses trash to make protective gear

Think again before you toss that rubbish away — it may help save your life.

Fong Yik-hang, an amateur upcycler, is transforming trash into protective gear. Since 2016 the innovator from Hong Kong has shared his creations on the Facebook page Garbage Handmade – HK

Upcycling is the process of finding creative ways to reuse by-products and waste. Over the years Yik-hang has upcycled over 70 household items: Plastic bottles into umbrella holders, dishwashing liquid bottles into remote control holders and wine bottle corks and plastic bottles into tape dispensers. 

“The upcycled items made should be practical. I do not want to use rubbish to create another piece of rubbish,” Yik-hang told the Associated Press. 

Recently, Yik-hang has redirected his focus to protective gear. While his upcycled inventions are not yet medically tested, there is a high demand for any protection at all. Yik-hang used two milk cartons, a tin can lid and two plastic screw caps to create a mask with filters. He even turned a single-use plastic sandwich box into goggles. 

Hong Kong scientists, doctors and government officials have not approved of his protective equipment. Nevertheless, Yik-hang feels it is a simple alternative for a fearful public that also makes good use of rubbish. Yik-hang has a certain ethos to his projects — they must meet his two criteria of sustainability and user-friendliness. 

“Firstly, it has to make use of household rubbish, especially those that could not be reused,” Yik-hang told AP. “Secondly, to use basic tools, where an electric drill, electric saw or glue gun are not needed. I rarely use the glue gun. I just use scissors or a cutter because I hope that more people can make them when special tools are not needed.”

If you enjoyed this article, check out this actor who turned a jockstrap into a no-sew face mask.

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