Philippine company turns plastic waste into a material that may be used for disaster relief shelters

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash.

According to a 2021 study by Oxford University’s Our World in Data, Asian rivers contribute to over 80 percent of worldwide ocean plastic, with the Philippines responsible for one-third of its total amount.

The extremely high consumption of plastic face shields, gloves, disposable containers, and bubble wrap amid the COVID-19 crisis has made the plastic crisis severe and more difficult to sort out.

As the world’s plastic trash crisis worsens, an increasing number of businesses are stepping up to address environmental concerns.

In the Philippines, a recycling center called Plastic Flamingo, or ‘The Plaf,’ aims to at least mitigate, if not terminate, the plastic problem domestically by collecting plastic and upcycling them. 

The social enterprise collects plastic waste that usually clogs waterways like bottles, single-use sachets, and food wrappers. They tear them into shreds and form them into posts and wood planks called ‘eco-lumbers,’ a multifunctional construction material that can be used to build disaster relief housing and more. 

The makers improved the material with rot-resistant and maintenance-free additives and colorants. 

They have collected more than 100 tonnes of plastic so far and are hoping to serve as an avenue to save the plastics from ending up in landfills and oceans. 

While the country’s plastic pollution persists, the government has yet to tackle and set strategies in implementing proper plastic waste disposal in the long run.

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