Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation’s North Mindanao Import Facility (NMIF) recently launched its first fully-sustainable eco-brick manufacturing in Barangay Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City. This project demonstrates strong collaboration between Shell, Local Government Unit, and Non-Government Organizations (GreenAntz Builders and Billionbricks) to create a community livelihood enterprise that will repurpose plastic wastes to a usable material for building homes and road pavers, utilizing renewable energy.
Plastic wastes are one of the top community problems in Cagayan de Oro City, clogging its drainage and river streams that result to flooding and spread of diseases. Ocean Conservancy (2019) cited the Philippines as the 3rd polluter of ocean plastics in the world, next to China and Indonesia. These are the reasons why Shell partners with a coastal community such as Macabalan, to take an initial step at reduce plastics being thrown in CDO River or Macajalar Bay. This is also aligned with City Government enforcing R.A. 9003 or Solid Waste Management Act.
An estimate of 3 to 6 thousand kilos of plastic wastes can be recycled by the Shell LiveWIRE Ecobrick Hub producing about 60,000 bricks per month. It will not only generate jobs to about 20 residents, but also earn income of about 100 thousand pesos income for the selected community partner, the Macabalan Wharf Porters Association. They will be trained by GreenAntz to manage and sustain the operation of the Hub.
This Hub operates sustainably, utilizing 10-kW solar energy coming from the facility called ‘PowerHyde’ which was designed and built by Billionbricks, a start-up innovation company based in Singapore.
A Memorandum of Agreement between Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) Executive Director Sebastian Quiniones, City Mayor Oscar Moreno, GreenAntz CEO Rommel Benig, and Barangay Macabalan Chairman Norbel Saa was forged, showing its commitment to bring the community together in reducing plastic wastes.
City Mayor Oscar Moreno said that this initiative is also aligned with his aspiration of making Cagayan de Oro a disaster-resilient City and returning to the top position of the 10 most sustainable urban cities in the Philippines, learning from the experience of Typhoon Sendong in year 2011. Sebastian Quiniones, on the other hand, emphasized that this project will not be fully realized without the help of the members of communities, quoting “Sama-samang pagtulong, sabay-sabay na pagsulong,” posing a challenge to unite in our fight in reducing plastic wastes.