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Recycling, Philippines. Plastic building materials. A way to fight the problem of waste and homelessness

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Convert mountains of plastic waste into houses, best for people who have lost their homes as a result of natural disasters and natural disasters? This idea is being tested in the Philippines. Bottles, disposable packaging, bags and other plastic materials are turned into building materials.

The Plastic Flamingo, or The Plaf for short, describes itself as “a social enterprise that fights plastic pollution in the seas by collecting plastic waste and turning it into recyclable products.” The people involved in this project organized all the subsequent stages: collecting the waste, shredding it, and then shaping it into a material called “eco-wood”. It is used to create fences, terraces and other structures.

Now The Plaf is trying to convince the authorities to use plastic eco-wood to rebuild houses damaged by typhoons or other natural disasters that regularly hit the region. It can also prove useful for creating temporary shelters in times of natural disasters.

Plastic houses from the PhilippinesReuters

– It is 100 percent recycled material, entirely made of plastic waste, although there are also some additives, such as dyes. It is very durable and leaves no splinters during assembly – said Erica Reyes, COO of The Plaf, in an interview with Reuters.

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So far, over 100 tons of plastic waste have been collected and processed in this way. In view of the scale of the problem, it is still not much.


The Philippines at the forefront of plastic “producers”

According to the United Nations Environment Program, 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced in the world each year. About 80 percent of the plastic that ends up in the oceans comes from Asia. The Philippines contributes to the production of one third of this, according to this year’s Oxford University report.

READ ALSO: Billions of tons of plastic pollute the environment. Nature organizations want a ban on the export of garbage >>>

According to experts, the country’s authorities do not have a clear strategy to solve the problem, although the country’s ministry of environment ensures that it is in constant contact with local producers and is working on rational waste management methods.

The pandemic is not in favor of the fight against plastic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the fight against plastic much harder to win. The reason is the enormous increase in the consumption of plastic face shields, disposable gloves, containers (due to, among others, restaurant restrictions) and bubble wrap (due to the rapid increase in the scale of online shopping).


“People don’t know how to get rid of these plastics,” said Allison Tan of The Plaf. “We’re showing them that waste, instead of ending up in landfills or in the oceans, can be recycled,” she added.

Main photo source: Reuters

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