The Philippines is now following the footsteps of many countries in a bid to reduce plastic waste with the opening of its first ever plastic barter store in Cebu.
Customers can send their recyclable plastic items such as water bottles, shampoo bottles, and junk food wrappers.
However, all of the items must be washed and cleaned first to be accepted.
The plastic barter store also offers food and other supplies in exchange for a number of kilos of plastic.
For example, a kilogram of rice will be given in exchange for 4 kilograms of plastic.
Depending on the weight of the recyclable plastic, customers will receive a pack of rice or a can of sardines.
The store also offers other supplies such as slippers, toys, school supplies like notebooks and pencils and clothing.
According to ABS-CBN, the idea of the plastic barter store came from 12 Baskets Movement, a group that is dedicated to reducing plastic pollution in Cebu City as it is one of the main factors of sewer clog-up during heavy rains.
The group is also on a mission to educate the public about the effects of using too much plastic.
Plastic recyclables that are collected from the store will be shredded at their facility in Talisay City where it will then be mixed with cement to form hollow blocks.
The hollow blocks will be sold at P12 (USD 0.23) each.
“Plastic takes 100 years to be decomposed, therefore it is strong when it is to be mixed to become hollow blocks,” said Gina Espenilla, volunteer at 12 Baskets Movement.
When the store was launched recently, many people welcomed the idea as this will help people from throwing plastics and have them exchanged for an item instead.
It also helps people who used to scavenge plastic recyclables for food or items they need.
The plastic barter store is located on Mabini St. in Cebu City near the University of Southern Philippines (USP).