Lifestyle

This Company Turns Plastic Lazada and Shopee Packaging Into Emergency Shelters

They accept all kinds of plastic waste too.
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The online shopping industry has grown exponentially during the pandemic, and unfortunately so has the plastic waste from all our packages. This shouldn’t be surprising considering how many Lazada and Shopee reviews comment on quality of the packaging rather than the actual product itself. 

Thankfully, French social enterprise The Plastic Flamingo (AKA The Plaf) is collecting all our plastic waste and turning it into eco-planks. With numerous drop-off points all over Metro Manila, donating your plastic waste is easy and convenient. They have collection bins set up at various SM malls, Decathlon branches, and Ayala UP Town Center among others. Check out their Facebook for the full list of drop-off points.

You can also ask them to pick up your plastic for a fee of P300. Make sure your plastic has been washed and dried before dropping it off or having it picked up. The Plaf accepts all kinds of plastic except for styrofoam.

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After collecting plastic from drop-off points, The Plaf sorts it and turns HDPE, LDPE, and PP plastics into eco-planks. These eco-planks are used to build piles, pontoons, and emergency shelters for disaster-struck areas. The rest of the plastic is sent to recycling centers.

The Plaf was founded by couple François and Marie Lesage. They saw the planet’s plastic pollution problem firsthand when they embarked on a cycling tour around the world for their honeymoon. This made them determined to do their part in preventing plastic waste from ending up in rivers and oceans. The pair decided to start with the Philippines since it’s notorious for being one of the world’s biggest producers of plastic waste

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According to their website, they’re tackling not only environmental problems but social issues as well. They make a point of hiring women from underprivileged communities to work at their sorting facilities. This provides them with a source of livelihood in a safe working environment. The Plaf also explains that reducing plastic waste in oceans, rivers, and canals will improve the mental and physical health of people who live in the area as well. 

While online shopping is a safer alternative to visiting indoor spaces, it does come with a steep environmental cost. But thanks to organizations like The Plaf, we can all do our part in reducing plastic pollution.

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Angelica Gutierrez
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