Building something from trash: this company in Davao recycles plastics into furniture and more

A company in Davao found a way to make use of single-use plastics that are thrown out as garbage. Envirotech Waste Recycling, headed by Winchester Lemen, collects candy wrappers, shopping bags, plastic straws, and the like, to turn them into furniture and building materials.

Initially, he started his project by using plastics to build school chairs in 2017. After its immediate success, Lemen eventually thought of creating a 28-sq.m. house, which would comprise 85-90% plastic wastes. The house, which he calls ‘EnviroHome’, will need at least three tons of plastic wastes to be made into floor tiles, bricks, planks, and pavers, as well as house ceiling and roofing components. His project aims to give families in remote areas a decent home to live in. Lemen also plans to equip the houses with solar lights and a water generator device. It would only take a day in order to build an EnviroHome which can last for 20 years or more with free replaceable parts. A unit is estimated to cost around Php 280,000 to PhP 380,000.

With over 60 billion sachets of single-use plastic reportedly used in a year, Lemen believes that his project is one of the many solutions to resolve the problem on plastic waste, as well as the backlog in the country’s housing sector. Given his background in mechanical engineering, he is also trying to develop a machine that would recycle products which are considered non-recyclable. He hopes that he could partner with other local government units to be able to reach out to more communities and encourage everyone to recycle and create something useful out of those plastics which could only add burden to the world’s plastic waste problem.

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