Pollution is considered a global crisis. Around 22,000 tons of mismanaged waste makes its way into the ocean daily, with the Philippines contributing 7,400 tons. It was also reported by the World Wide Fund (WWF) in 2018 that most of the plastic waste from the Philippines end up in the ocean and that it comes from waste that was previously collected.
Plastic and Philippine Culture
Sanitary landfills and disposal facilities are not accessible to 70% of Filipinos, according to Crispian Lao, the founder of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS). The use of disposable plastics is unavoidable. Not everyone has the capacity or resources to buy in bulk or to have the correct storage for the products – especially because we live in such a hot and humid environment. With convenience stores and small sari-sari stores, buying retail or tingi-tingi is our norm. While there have been initiatives to start solving our plastic problem, the pandemic has encouraged the use of single-use items to avoid the risk of transmission of the virus.
Solving this issue is not only important, but it is also extremely urgent. Plastic can take years to break down. And because the damage impacts the environment for a long time, this causes harm to humans, animals, and plants. In order to protect the Earth, we have to start making our lifestyles more sustainable.
One of the best ways to decrease plastic waste is to reuse and repurpose plastic materials. This reduces the need for new raw materials and the amount of plastic that will need to be recycled. Repurposing plastic also ensures that the material is used to its fullest capacity.
Here are some Do-It-Yourself items using repurposed plastic!
No-Sew Zipper Cases from Bottles
These no-sew zipper cases are super easy to do. Using different colors and sizes, you can play around with the shape of your cases to fit your needs.
Recycled Bird Feeder
Bird feeders are really pretty and can attract different species of birds that you may not notice are around your neighborhood. These are pretty easy to make but that can vary depending on the design you want to do.
Plastic Bottle Ottoman
Because plastic bottles are really sturdy, a bundle of them can even carry our weight and we can make an ottoman, stools, or other similar items. Even so, these bottles are still hollow and should be handled with care. To make them sturdier, you can stuff the bottles with other plastic items. (see: ecobrick)
When reusing plastic, make sure to check to clean the bottles thoroughly before use. And don’t forget to do your own research about the other materials that you’re using because that’s how you make sure that the items you’re making will last a long time. These are only small steps and we may not feel its impact right away, but if we all cooperate, these small steps go a long way.