P&G Philippines and World Vision’s “Pag-asa sa Basura” program is living up to its name—turning what would have been plastic waste into upcycled plastic school chairs with safety dividers, ready to accommodate Metro Manila students’ return to the classrooms when the time comes following Philippine basic education schools’ return to classroom instructions.
Despite a school year of distance and online learning for school children, the project’s partner schools continued to recover and collect plastic waste which have since been upcycled to another thousand plastic school chairs given back to partner schools. Last year, it had previously donated over a thousand upcycled chairs coming from 3.2 million sachet waste and 870,000 plastic bottles collected from the start of the program in 2019 until the stoppage of face to face schooling due to the pandemic.
The Pag-Asa sa Basura project also rehabilitated schools’ materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and distributed collection bins for easier collection and visual sorting. Meanwhile, students who put effort into collecting recyclable materials are rewarded with incentives such as school supplies and gift tokens.
“I was impressed when I first saw the classroom chairs. I didn’t know that the sachets we collected could be used to make chairs of a good quality,” said Dr. Emelbon Mayrina, Principal of Catmon Integrated School in Malabon, one of the beneficiary schools. “The white dividers attached to the arms of the chairs are helpful, too, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
With no physical classes at the moment, the upcycled chairs are being used by teachers and parents during the distribution of student workbooks and modules as schools prepare to transition to blended learning.
“Plastic waste is only considered waste if you throw it away, a solution is to find another use for it. These millions of used sachets that could have ended up in landfills or as marine litter have been successfully upcycled to school chairs with safety dividers. Our partnership with World Vision, and the support of the Department of Education has allowed P&G to continue being able to make these meaningful impacts in the environmental areas of Climate, Water and Waste,” said Raffy Fajardo, president and General Manager of P&G
The “Pag-asa sa Basura” program aims to help boost plastic waste recovery in the country, while also educating students and their parents about the benefits of proper solid waste management, recycling, upcycling, and living in a cleaner environment.
Grounded on RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, “Pag-asa sa Basura” is made possible with the strong support of the Department of Education, which helped establish links between schools and their respective MRFs in order to systematize recovery and collection, segregation, recycling, and upcycling efforts.
The “Pag-asa sa Basura” program is just one P&G’s many sustainability initiatives in support of proper solid waste management and part of its commitment to zero waste to nature future.
With sustainability efforts such as this, there is indeed hope—for a future with less waste, a more circular economy, and students who grow up with a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the environment they live in. For more information about P&G’s sustainability and community initiatives, visit https://us.pg.com/environmental-sustainability/.