CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – The Plastic Barter Store, it is located at Mabini Street, the downtown area of Cebu City. The items on the store have a corresponding number of kilos in exchange for an item. For example, a kilo of rice is equivalent to 4 kilos of plastic, 8 kilos of plastic for a canned good, 8-6 kilos for toys or school supplies, 4 kilos for clothes and shoes, and 2 kilos for small toys and pair of slippers.
The concept was launched by a group called 12 Baskets Movement, whose goal is to reduce plastic in Cebu City, noting that it is one of the leading causes of sewer clog-up during heavy rain. They also want to protect the environment by educating people on the effects of using too much plastic.
Adrian Lee of Rotary Club of Metro Cebu said they do not encourage placing plastic wrappers inside plastic bottles the way eco-bricks are made. The plastic items that are gathered at the store will be shredded to make eco-hollow blocks.
“We have to segregate them before we can process. It costs money because we have to pay those who will segregate, ” said Lee. Segregation also takes time, some will also put water on the plastic bottles to make it heavy but they will double check before weighing it. This is why they are calling on volunteers to help them segregate.
The collected plastic will be shredded in their facility at Dumlog, Talisay City where it will be mixed with cement to form hollow blocks, which will be sold at P12 each. Most of the store’s customers are scavengers who exchange the trash for food such as canned goods, slippers, and clothes.
The “Plastic Barter Store” is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are also encouraging the public to donate any kinds of stuff to trade for their barter store/HTLENIS