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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Davao City’s recycled plastics king

Photo by INQ


He still remembers his father telling him that one day, he will become the next biggest plastics manufacturer in the country.
Winchester O. Lemen took his father’s word so seriously that he ended up recycling soft plastic wastes mined from landfills and turning these into classroom chairs, park benches, and soon, perhaps, a house.
Lemen’s father, Marcelo, who owned EuroPlastico, was among the first to manufacture Styrofoam products in the country in the 1970s.
By recycling soft plastics from discarded shampoo sachets, candy and junk food wrappers, Lemen, president and chief executive officer of Envirotech Waste Recycling Inc., says he can easily reduce the volume of waste clogging drainage canals and filling the landfills of major towns and cities in the country.
Envirotech aims to be a part of the movement to regain ecological intelligence and balance. It has a plant in Bunawan District, also in Davao City.
Soft plastics
“What we collect are only soft plastics, not the hard plastics, which still has value for junk shops,” says Lemen, a mechanical engineer by profession. His chairs, park benches and decking pieces can easily be mistaken for real wood, and could last up to 20 years, way above the five-year average life-span of wooden chairs, he says.
Lemen is trying to convince as many local government units in the country to allow him to make use of the existing wastes in their landfill for his raw materials.
A councilor in Quezon City, who ordered 60 pieces of Lemen’s products, plans to sponsor a resolution banning wooden chairs in city classrooms to protect the environment. “It’s his way of helping save the trees,” Lemen says.
“One small chair made entirely of recycled plastics can help save one 3-year-old tree, while helping fill the shortage of chairs in the classroom,” he says.
ANOTHER product made of recycled plastics, a bench, is displayed in the house of Lemen in Davao City.
GERMELINA LACORTE

more stories here: INQ

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