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Saturday, June 14, 2008

RP to display products made from plastics, recycled materials

Bags and belts made of plastics— materials that usually end up clogging our canals and causing flood. Keychain, table organizer, card and pen holder, picture frame and other cool home or office accessories made of recycled paper or plastic waste, such as tetra packs.

These are just some of the uniquely Filipino products that will be showcased and promoted internationally by the Philippines when it hosts the fifth Eco-Products International Fair (EPIF) in Manila in March next year.

Some of these products, like the ones manufactured by Kilus Foundation Multipurpose Environmental Cooperative based in Ugong, Pasig City, and Recyclean Foundation Inc. were exhibited during the launching press conference for the fifth EPIF held at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Tuesday morning.

Kilus Foundation was a pet project of barangay Ugong chairman Andy Santiago. It was established after a group of women in 1997 organized themselves and formed the “Samahan ng mga Kababaihan sa Ugong” for the purpose of “cleaning and greening” the barangay through the barangay officials’ initiative.

The group became an effective partner of the barangay in terms of solid-waste management by helping clean the barangay, and through its environment-friendly livelihood projects making use of recycled materials to make fashionable bags, slippers, sandals and shoes. The group was able to provide jobs to its 500-strong members.

Its products are now being sold in 12 countries, namely, California and Chicago in the United States of America, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Korea, Japan, Germany, Holland and France.

Meanwhile, Recyclean Foundation Inc. makes use of recycled materials to make cement-bonded, fire- resistant, termite-resistant boards which have unique, sound-proofing property. It also makes hollow blocks which are used for construction of houses. Recyclean Foundation Inc also makes hibla or handmade paper and creates gift wraps, stationery, jewelry boxes, paper bags, paper jars and gift bags out of recycled waste.

Companies like Tetra Pak, meanwhile, recycles its own waste collected from schools through its “Care and Share Program.” Used cartons are also collected by the company and in partnership with the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Foundation, which makes furniture and novelty items out of composite boards and paper or used cartons.

EPIF is among the largest international environmental exhibitions in Asia, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. It aims to increase environmental awareness among consumers by promoting eco-friendly products and services.

An initiative of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and supported by the government of Japan, the EPIFs have also been showcasing the most advanced environmental technologies and providing opportunities to explore business collaborations among various stakeholders.

APO is a regional intergovernmental organization in Tokyo, Japan. Its mission is to contribute to the socioeconomic development of its 20 member-countries in Asia and the Pacific through enhancing productivity and quality standards in the private and public sectors for global competitiveness.

The next EPIF will be held on March 9, with the Philippines hosting the annual event.

Former Philippine First Lady Amelita “Ming” Ramos, a known environmentalist and advocate who established the “Clean and Green Foundation,” which spearheaded efforts to revive the polluted Pasig River, will lead the fifth EPIF 2008 Advisory Committee.

Shigeo Takenaka, secretary-general of APO, said the Philippines’ hosting the fifth EPIF is timely, citing that among developing countries in Asia, productivity in the Philippines is “slightly better” or a “little better” than some of its neighbor-countries, but was quick to add that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Reference:

JONATHAN L. MAYUGA
Business Mirror Correspondent
11 June 2008

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