Group turns plastic waste into building material


Social enterprise: A worker cleaning discarded plastic bottles to be upcycled into building material at The Plaf’s factory in Muntinlupa, Philippines. — Reuters

A GROUP of recyclers in the Philippines is trying to ease the country’s worsening plastic waste crisis by turning bottles, single-use sachets and snack food wrappers that clog rivers and spoil beaches into building materials.

The Plastic Flamingo, or “The Plaf” as they are commonly known, collect the waste, shred it and then mould it into posts and planks called “eco-lumber” that can be used for fencing, decking or even to make disaster-relief shelters.

“(It) is 100% upcycled material, 100% made from plastic waste materials. It is rot-free, maintenance-free, and splinter-free,” said Erica Reyes, The Plaf’s chief operating officer.

Having collected over 100 tonnes of plastic waste to date, the social enterprise is doing its bit to address a local problem that has global ramifications.

Approximately 80% of global ocean plastic comes from Asian rivers, and the Philippines alone contributes a third of that total, according to a 2021 report by Oxford University’s Our World in Data.

The Philippines does not have a clear strategy on tackling its plastics problem and its environment department has said it has been in contact with manufacturers to identify ways to manage waste.

Covid-19, though, has made the battle against plastic waste harder to win.

Some 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced annually, according to the UN Environment Programme, a problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which sparked a rush for plastic face shields, gloves, takeaway food containers and bubble wrap as online shopping surged.

“People are unaware of how to dispose of these plastics,” said The Plaf’s marketing associate Allison Tan, adding, “We give that avenue that instead of putting it in landfills or oceans... you give it to recycling centres like us and we would upcycle them into better products.”

As well as tackling waste problems, the group says it is in talks with other NGOs to help rebuild houses destroyed by typhoons using their “eco-lumber”. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Plastic Flamingo , The Plaf , waste

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Number of Covid-19 cases decreasing in India as 8,318 cases reported on Saturday, says the Health Ministry
Philippines cuts target for ambitious three-day vaccination sprint
WTO's major conference postponed due to new Covid variant
Hong Kong Canto-pop star and music legend Alan Tam, 71, denies affair allegation by man on social media
Academics and students in the West consider future China studies without access to China
China calls for ‘strict accountability’ at local government levels where funds are misused
Cathay Pacific slashing passenger flights to Hong Kong over holiday season
German coalition seals deal for new government, new tough-talking China policy
Fresh hopes for species’ survival as 51 royal turtles released into Cambodia's wild
Young consumers driving growth of China's domestic brands

Others Also Read


Vouchers