Pangasinan Town Turns Solid Wastes Into Bags, Bricks

Bags, tissue holders, pencil case, refrigerator cover, apron and cellphone cases made of paper and plastic wastes can be bought in this town while landscapes of eco-friendly bricks made from plastics are showcased here.

Forrester Gellie Saldivar, solid waste management officer of this town, said the main materials for their products come from wastes collected from the residents, while the bags and other products are made by some women here who attended the training on bag-making by Women’s Brigade Tungtungin Putho from Los Baños from August 13 to 17 last year.

“They were taught how to weave newspapers, brochures, telephone directories (and) even old calendars into bags. They were also taught how to make tissue holders, pencil case, ref cover, apron, cellphone bag, among others,” she said on Thursday.

Saldivar said the first finished bags & other products (Bags for Life) made from paper by the women’s group here were sold out to overseas Filipino workers, who visited the town during the fiesta last September.

“Many balikbayans bought the bags and other products as pasalubong since they said these are unique products,” she added.

The products from recycled paper are priced between PHP70 to PHP300.

“In line with the Women’s Month this March, we will again conduct a training on March 20-22 that will be participated in by Kalipunan ng Lahing Pilipino and Day Care Workers here,” she said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has chosen this town as the pilot area in Pangasinan for the “Tayo ang Kalikasan” (TAK) advocacy program for its best practices in solid wastes management through recycling wastes into new products.

Saldivar expressed hope that with their partnership with the DENR in the TAK advocacy program, there would be more assistance and linkages for them.

“DENR will provide us technical assistance and networking to the different government agencies that can help us more with our plans and programs,” she added.

TAK was launched here on February 21 this year.

Saldivar said their campaign on proper solid waste management started in May last year with the introduction of eco-friendly bricks in schools.

Each of the 16 elementary and high schools in the town collect from their students single-used plastic bags, which is the main component for the eco bricks that are used in landscaping.

“Because of this project, the schools also built their own material recovery facilities,” she said.

In July last year, the Basura Expo was introduced in the town.

“We collect wastes as such packaging of juice drinks, newspaper, telephone directories, brochures, metallic foil packaging of junk foods from the residents in exchange for cash,” Saldivar said.

Newspapers are bought at PHP4 per kilogram (kg); 25 cents per piece for dried and cleaned juice drink plastic packaging; and PHP3 per kg for candy wrappers or dried and cleaned metallic foil packaging (junk foods),” she said. (PNA)

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