FedEx and Plastic Flamingo Transform Plastic Waste To Fight Marine Pollution
As part of its Reduce, Replace and Revolutionize approach to sustainability, FedEx Philippines is working with The Plastic Flamingo (The Plaf) to repurpose its plastic waste and contribute to the cause of fighting marine pollution in the country.
Unfortunately, the Philippines, along with fellow ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam, generates over 14.66 million tons of municipal solid waste annually, 10.55% of which is plastic.
The Plaf is a social enterprise that aims to tackle the country’s plastic crisis. At the same time, they generate employment opportunities for low-income families, especially women, so they can earn sustainable income from doing meaningful work.
The name brings to mind the fun pink flamingo decorations that typically grace suburban lawns, gardens and parks. It symbolizes the need to protect the marine environment while use of the color pink echoes its advocacy on inclusion of women in the workplace – and makes recycling more appealing.
Led by founders Francois and Charlotte Lesage, The Plaf developed an efficient plastic waste collection system and recycling process to transform plastic into sustainable eco-lumbers used for building furniture and emergency shelters.
FedEx and The Plaf share the belief that addressing the plastic problem is urgent and a collective resolve from the public, private and government sectors is critical. According to John Peterson, Managing Director of FedEx Express Philippines, “We are happy to work with The Plaf and help promote their efforts in growing an emerging local circular economy. The collaboration echoes our relentless efforts in finding ways to responsibly and sustainably connect the world through our business and to do good for people, communities and our shared environment.”
In just three years of operations, The Plaf has collected more than 70 tons from various sources throughout the country, with around 50% already recycled and transformed into eco-lumbers with the help of their co-processing and recycling partners. They aim to collect and recycle 2,000 tons of plastic waste by 2023 and they are targeting to commence building the emergency shelters this year.
Francois Lesage points out, “Creating new products is the only way to find a sustainable and ethical business model for plastic waste recycling. The value is in the final product that can sustain the whole value chain. We are pleased that more people believe in and support our model, vision and mission.”
For FedEx, the work toward minimizing its environmental footprint continues through finding innovative, transformational solutions as well as pursuing purpose-driven collaborations. “Through the years, we have made great strides in advancing environmental efficiency. We remain committed to deliver a positive impact to society and future generations,” concludes Peterson.
Recently, FedEx announced its goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040, designating over $2 billion of initial investment in vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.
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To know more about responsible plastic waste management and recycling practices, visit The Plaf’s website now.