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"This is just the first step, but a significant one towards sustainable plastic management." - SMC
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has taken a big leap towards saving the environment and promoting sustainability by laying the first-ever road in the Philippines that’s made out of recycled plastics.
The conglomerate shared on Facebook their innovative project of using recycled plastics in building a road.
“We've built the first recycled plastics road in the Philippines! Close to 900 kilos of plastic waste, equivalent to 180,000 sachets and plastic bags, were used to produce asphalt for a 1,500 square-meter test site at our new logistics center in Cavite. This is just the first step, but a significant one towards sustainable plastic management,” SMC captioned.
In a write-up, San Miguel Corporation president Ramos Ang said: “What we want to achieve is to help address an important environmental issue, and that is plastic wastes. We want to create a sustainable use for waste plastics so that they don’t end up in landfills and our rivers and oceans."
However, many netizens expressed their worries about this. Many were skeptic in regards to the plastic eroding and melting, and how the microplastics could make their way to the rivers and oceans.
SMC clarified, “We appreciate the great discussion on this thread! To answer the question: No, it will not break down into microplastics. The plastics are melted, its properties are altered. In short, it becomes bitumen or asphalt. This pilot is meant to determine the effectiveness and impact of this solution.”
SMC’s technology partner, global materials science company, Dow, stated that the recycled plastic waste serves as a binder together with bitumen, in the production of asphalt.
Two weeks ago, San Miguel also announced that it would begin using biodegradable plastics for its food and non-food products. This innovation earned the company an Environmental Technology Verification certificate from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Industrial Technology Department Institute.
Recycled plastics are already being used in different manners to help resolve the problem of excessive plastic waste. A research revealed that only 10% of the plastics produced since the 1950s have been recycled. Now, with the advancement of technology, it might be possible to boost that number.