Through a project called #EasyOnThePlastic, Robinsons Easymart partnered with The Plastic Solution to produce ecobricks -- an innovative material which will be used to build homes for the Yangil tribe of Zambales.
Ecobricks are hollow-block substitutes made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles filled with non-biodegradables. These include plastic wrappers, utensils, straws, and old cloth cut into small pieces that are then compactly stuffed into the bottles.
Combining volunteerism, community development, and environmental sustainability, Robinsons Easymart encouraged patrons and employees to be part of the initiative, where for every five liters in volume of collected trash, regardless of bottle size and number, participants were rewarded with a reusable glass tumbler or a metal straw.
Over 8,000 ecobricks have been collected from the partnership since it started in June 2017.
Ecobricks are stacked and covered with cement, serving as sturdy foundations for houses in Aeta communities. (photo from The Plastic Solution FB page)
“The partnership was helpful to our organization because it spread awareness and gave credibility to our advocacy. More people took us seriously after this program, and since then, our advocacy has gained a lot of popularity among Filipinos from various backgrounds. With the help of Robinsons Easymart, we were able to collect over six tonnes of plastic,” said Raf Dionisio, one of the founders of The Plastic Solution.
Jody Gadia, General Manager of Robinsons Supermarket Corporation, shared that the effort was a positive step for retailers in managing plastic waste.
“We’re happy that we are able to use our platform as a modern retailer to support the endeavor. Diverting plastic waste from landfills and waterways and transforming it into homes, this was an avenue for Robinsons Easymart to foster long-term positive impact for Filipino families. Our thrust has always been to advocate a healthy lifestyle among our customers, and this can extend to social involvement and taking care of the environment as well. We understand that business is always connected to the state of the people and planet,” he said.