It’s not surprising that the Philippines is among the top countries that produce the most plastic waste, especially with the prominence of sachet culture. GAIA reports that the average Filipino discards 591 pieces of sachet, 174 shopping bags, and 163 plastic labo bags yearly, which either get dumped in landfills or gets washed in the oceans.
To combat this environmental dilemma, François and Charlotte Lesage founded The Plastic Flamingo in 2018. The social enterprise’s mission is to reduce marine plastic pollution by collecting and recycling ocean-bound plastic. With the help of their collection partners and subscribers, they’re working towards a more sustainable world.
How Can You Help?
Save the turtles and other marine life by donating your plastics to them. They accept pretty much all types of plastics, except those that are composed of mixed materials. Water bottles, takeaway containers, PVC pipes, used up shampoo bottles, and plastic utensils are examples of things you can send their way. Packaging from your online deliveries and eco-bricks are also accepted, as well as old plastic toothbrushes with the bristles cut off.
They would highly appreciate it if the items to be dropped off have been washed and dried to avoid attracting insects in their bins and streamline the segregation for their workers. And please don’t send in surgical masks, used sanitary items, or plastic with residual waste.
As of January 2021, they have drop-off points located in Muntinlupa; Baranggay 801, Manila; Merville, Paranaque; and select Decathlon branches. These are open to the public, but those who plan on bringing their plastics to the PLAF warehouse should make prior arrangements.
What happens to the plastic that’s collected?
PLAF hits two birds with one stone with their program.
All the plastics they collect are brought to their warehouse where it’s sorted, cleaned, and dried. Then they upcycle the plastics into eco-planks to be used as construction materials for emergency shelters in calamity-stricken areas. The rest of the plastic that they weren’t able to use gets forwarded to other recycling partners.
Even though there are initiatives like these, everyone should still do their part and make eco-conscious decisions.