Managing waste made from plasticsis becoming a growing concern globally. Perhaps the biggest culprits are single-use spoons and forks, water bottles, down to the plastic shampoo sachets now clogging some our rivers and oceans or piling up in landfills, since these materials do not decompose. All over the world, researchers have been working round the clock to find a way to better degrade this plastics waste or put them to good use.
San Miguel Corporation (SMC), has taken a major step in the area of sustainability by laying the first recycled plastics road in the Philippines. Asphalt made with plastic waste was laid on a 1,500 square meter test facility in General Trias, Cavite which will then be used primarily as a marshaling area for trucks with heavy loads, including 18-wheelers and heavy equipment.
“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," said Ramon Ang, SMC president.
SMC has teamed up with global materials science company Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) to use the waste plastic materials as a binder, together with bitumen, in the production of asphalt. The pilot project has utilized close to 900 kilograms of waste plastics, or equivalent to 180,000 sachets and plastic bags.
SMC also boasts that lab tests of their recycled plastics road asphalt have exceeded the current standards by the Department of Public Works and Highways. SMC has also announced that they will be intensifying their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and will begin to adopt the use of biodegradable plastics for their food and non-food products.