Green enterprise finds new function — and home — for plastic waste

Stacked eco-boards are stored inside The Plastic Flamingo upcycling factory in Muntinlupa City on March 18, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

DENR chief backs ban on single-use plastics 

MANILA—A social enterprise in Muntinlupa launched Friday a recycling line that would turn plastic-sachet waste and food wrappers into eco-boards or panels — similar to plywood — in a bid to block tons of plastics leaking into the environment. 

The Plastic Flamingo, or The Plaf, kickstarted the recycling line with the help of shipping logistics firm CMA CGM, in what is considered the first in the Philippines, its founder Francois Lesage said. 

This aims to boost the value of single-use sachets, which advocates and green campaigners have said are challenging to recycle because of its material, since some include a metallized part.

“We are now empowered with new capabilities and resources to transform the almost-impossible-to-recycle plastic sachets into products like eco-panels which can be used to build shelters,” Lesage said.

“The new recycling line also translates into value for waste pickers to collect the plastic wrappers to be recycled.”

Eco-boards, the officers said, could substitute for plywoods widely used in construction and housing, with waste sachets literally finding a new home. 

Erica Reyes, the Plaf’s chief operating officer, said the manufacturing involves compression molding or the application of heat and pressure. Their recycling line can process up to 4 eco-panels in an hour, she added. 

The Philippines is one of the biggest plastic polluters on the planet, contributing over a third of the plastic waste in the world’s oceans, a study this year found.

A study by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) in 2019 showed that 164 million pieces of sachets are being used by Filipinos everyday, or nearly 60 million pieces annually. 

Plastic labo bag use, meanwhile, is at 45.2 million pieces daily in the country alone or over 16 million yearly. 

STOP PLASTICS, ‘PITY THE WORLD’: DENR CHIEF

Even before this, the firm has been transforming plastic waste into construction materials or furniture, with products ranging from planks, stools, and recently coasters, through plastic extrusion. 

These products are directly sold to companies for now. 

The manufacturing plant can upcycle up to 2,000 tons of plastic waste annually, Lesage told ABS-CBN News in an interview.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *