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Ayala Land faces bane of pandemic: too much plastics

The COVID-19 pandemic has waged a war not only on human health but also against the environment. 

Ayala Land faces bane of pandemic: too much plastics

As people need to protect themselves from the virus, the world is seeing an estimated global use of 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves every month, according to a study published by the American Chemical Society. 

Long after the pandemic is over, personal protective equipment, alongside tons of packaging, plastics, and other scraps that have accumulated over the years could remain in the world’s oceans. In a 2020 study by Washington, D.C.-based The Pew Charitable Trusts and London-based SYSTEMIQ, it was estimated that plastic dumped into the ocean will reach 29 million metric tons by 2040, triple the 11 million metric tons seen in 2016. 

Turning plastics into eco products

Government and corporations alike have actively tried to address the problem of plastics and ocean waste. At Ayala Land, one solution involves recycling plastics into eco products. 

The property developer recently partnered with Green Antz Builders, a provider of environment friendly products used for the construction industry. 

The partnership focuses on shredding clean and dry plastic discards and mixing them with sand, cement, gravel, water and an additive. From there, Green Antz produces eco bricks, eco pavers, and eco casts, among others. 

Ayala Land’s pilot waste recycling facility, developed with Green Antz, is currently located in its 74-hectare mixed use estate in Taguig called Arca South.

 A second facility was opened in the company’s Lio ecotourism estate in El Nido, Palawan in the fourth quarter of 2019. Plastic waste from across the company’s pilot properties and estates are brought to these facilities to be converted into eco products. 

Eco pavers at the Makati CBD

Advocating the concept of a circular economy wherein waste generated are converted to usable resources, the company then buys these eco products to be used for construction activities in its properties. Eco pavers are currently being used for the sidewalk improvement project at the Makati Central Business District. 

Since their partnership, Ayala Land and Green Antz have diverted 55,000 kilos of plastic equivalent to waste generated by 220,000 people in a day. They have also produced 173,000 pieces of eco products, enough to build 50 classrooms covering 60 square meters each. 

“Plastics that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean will now become useful construction materials,” said Anna Maria Gonzales, Ayala Land sustainability manager. 

During the pandemic, Ayala Land stepped up its efforts to spread awareness on how people can keep plastics from the landfill. People have started to segregate, clean and dry plastic waste generated from their homes, such as food containers, bubble wrappers, PET bottles, and plastic sachets, among others. These materials are being brought to drop-off points in Vertis North (QC), Salcedo Saturday Market (Makati) and Sunshine Mall (Taguig), which are then delivered to the Arca South recycling facility. 

Segregation is the key

People can support Ayala Land’s zero-waste-to-landfill initiative by promoting segregation and the plastic drop-off venues to their families and friends. They can also buy the eco products such as eco bricks, which can be used as pavers for home gardens, or even for new walls for house renovations. 

Ayala Land faces bane of pandemic: too much plastics

Educating the public on the importance of recycling plastics and other waste is crucial in the time of the pandemic, especially since studies indicate that 2020 is already on track to see 30% more waste than 2019. 

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Article and Photo originally posted by Manila Standard last November 21, 2020, 7:20pm.

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