A PRIVATE port operator in central San Fernando town in southern Cebu had seafront residents near its facility coached to produce ecobricks and had these exchanged for food supply for their families while Cebu still bears the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.
Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) undertook the “Food for Trash: The Ecobricks Project” for residents from 11 households at Baro beach in Barangay South Poblacion. The program started on Feb. 18, 2021.
A program that ran until June 30 with a budget of P90,000, SEDC exchanges a kilo of ecobricks with a kilo of rice, two packs of noodles and one canned food, bared project animator Mitzie Almira I. Carin.
An ecobrick is made from a plastic bottle used for water and commercial drinks filled with cut plastic wrappers compacted tight to capacity, explained Carin, the company’s human resource and administration division manager.
SEDC has been collecting the reusable building blocks from the Baro community since Feb. 26 and every Friday thereafter. It had stocked up 891 kilos of ecobricks by June 18.
These have so far been used to build plant boxes at the company nursery in the uplands of Magisco in the same town, Carin said.
These will further be used to make tables and benches that will be showcased at the SEDC-St. Augustine Ecopilgrimage Park also in Magisco, Carin said.
The company engaged for the project Pagtambayayong Foundation Inc., represented by project officer Liza Tumulak, that tapped Norma Siangko and Grace Nebria of Looc Naval Homeowners Association Inc. in Lapu-Lapu City.
It intends to echo the same project in another purok as part of its coordinated social development and environmental protection programs.
“It is our goal to help the local government in managing, repurposing and transforming plastic waste into ecobricks that can be used to build modules, furniture, plant boxes, fences and walls, to name a few,” said Carin.
She noted that Republic Act 9003, the Solid Waste Management Act, mandates the reduction, recycling, reuse and recovery of solid waste down to the barangay level.
“It is also our way to help mitigate pollution and pluck the Philippines out as the ‘third worst polluter of the ocean,” especially that the archipelago is in the apex of the coral triangle in southeast Asia that has the highest global coral diversity, she pointed out.