Maximize Use of Single-Use Plastic
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The Philippines is considered as one of the sachet economies in Asia. In a study published in 2019 by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), the Philippines uses 60 billion plastic sachets annually. If we translate this to usage per person, this is equivalent to one sachet per person per day.
One benefit derived from the quarantine and lockdown is the apparent clearing of the skies and the waters. The standstill in almost all industries and stoppage in commerce have given the earth her much needed respite from the onslaught of damaging and irresponsible human activities.
Of late, news of cleaner air and clearer waters have made headlines. This can be attributed to the enforced lockdowns in almost countries across the globe during the first quarter of this year where everything thing (?) was shut off – work, businesses, transportation, shipping, etc.
Notwithstanding the gains we have had so far, the increased usage in single-use plastic brought about by the sudden shift to the new normal counterbalances this small win. Discarded personal protective equipment (PPEs), disposable face masks, take-away containers have started to wash up along the shores. If this trend continues, our garbage problem worldwide will be compounded.
One way to help lessen the environmental impact of these single-use plastics is ecobricking.
According to ecobricks.org, an ecobrick is a PET bottle packed solid with clean and dry used plastic. They are made to a certain density to create reusable building blocks. They terminally reduce the net surface area of packed plastic to effectively secure it from degrading into toxins and microplastics. Bricks that have been made out of recycled plastic help to extend the life of single-use plastic. Instead of ending its life immediately after one use, ecobricks avoid sending single-use plastic straight to landfill. Because of these traits, ecobricks can be made into modular units, furniture, earthen gardens and structures.
For a long time now we have relied on outside companies, corporations and government programs to take care our their plastic. As news spreads that these ‘waste management’ methods are failing to solve plastic, ecobricks are a way to reclaim personal responsibility for one’s ‘waste’. Ecobricks are designed from the ground up as a principled, people powered solution. In this way ecobricks can re-empower individuals, households, communities and companies to take full responsibility for their plastic.
By enabling individuals to take personal responsibility for their plastic consumption, the manual process of ecobricking compels a direct interaction with one’s consumed plastic. The meditative and communal aspect of ecobricking brings about what we call ecological consciousness. Ecobrickers tend to pursue more information about waste disposal in their community, plastic, recycling and ecobricking topics. This leads to a steady decrease in the ecobricker’s net plastic consumption.
Ecobricking requires no special machines, skills, or finances to implement. The technology is 100% open source. Because of its simplicity, ecobricking can spread and over-reach plastic consumption rates.
In local government units, particularly the small communities therein, ecobricking can be implemented as a means to create more awareness towards better waste management. By adapting this practice, the use of plastic will be maximized and each member of the community will be able to contribute in their own small ways to lessen the environmental impact of daily consumption of plastic.
As a community output, these ecobricks can be upcycled to school tables and chairs, children’s playground equipment like slides and swings, and can even serve as material for walls. With creative minds on board, there is actually no limit for the use of ecobricks.
I believe this effort can create ripples of change in the mindset of the people relative to taking better care of the environment. In this day and age of heightened consumerism, the need to preserve and protect the earth is more imperative.
There is value in upcycling waste. Join me in this petition for a cleaner and greener earth!
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