Say No to Plastics: The Leyte Home Depot campaign-A A +A
Monday, June 20, 2011
LONG before it was mandated among big malls and markets in Manila and other areas of the country, a large hardware and home furnishing store in Tacloban City, the Leyte Home Depot, has already started its own campaign against the use of plastic bags among its customers and shoppers.
According to Leyte Home Depot–Tacloban owner Rovert Yu, their campaign started in 2009.
“We started this initiative after reading how plastics affect our environment,” Yu said.
Studies cite that among others, the bad effects of plastics to the environment include depletion of natural resources, fatal consumption by animals, and high costs of cleanup due to litter left by plastics.
Plastic bags, plastic bottles, Styrofoam and other plastic-made containers, when not properly disposed, can cause pollution, clogging of waterways and toxic fumes when burned.
“We still don’t have any laws or rules on the total ban of plastics then, so we thought it was a good time to start within our own establishment,” Yu said.
As part of their campaign against the use of plastic, Leyte Home Depot use old newspapers and bond papers made into paper bags to wrap and carry various items at their stores.
This recycling system has earned employment among wives and partners of Home Depot employees who have been tasked to make bags out of the old newspapers and bond papers.
“Not only have we helped the environment but we have created additional income for other people as well,” Yu said.
Aside from old newspapers, wide plastic wraps used to cover crates and crates of plywood and ply boards were also recycled.
These cover plastics were recycled into smaller bags to carry retail packs of smalls items such as nails.
This way, huge amount of plastics were prevented from being immediately discarded into garbage, thus reducing the amount of waste plastics generated by the store.
Aside from recycling their own collection of newspapers, the management has also started buying other old stocks from other offices to be made into paper bags. By far, Leyte Home Depot’s use of plastics has lessened from 50 to 60 percent since it started its campaign in 2009.
The establishment has also been conscious of its carbon footprint by constructing a well-ventilated building that does not need the comforts of an air-conditioning system.
“Our building itself is not air-conditioned. It is designed in such a way that air can circulate well. We also have a wide parking area with landscaping to provide a convenient place for our customers,” Yu said.
An over-the-counter survey made by Leyte Home Depot among its customers showed its tremendous appreciation and support for its “No to Plastic” campaign. Ninety percent of its customers said the initiative is laudable. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)