AS PART of their continuous efforts to protect the environment, Republic Cement and Green Antz Builders have launched the first ever corporate partnership Ecobrick Hub in the Philippines for the benefit of Barangay Prinza in Teresa, Rizal.

Green Antz is known for its ecobricks.

Made from a mixture of cement and shredded plastic laminates such as sachets, ecobricks make use of residual plastic waste that have no value and are no longer recyclable.

Not only are ecobricks fives times stronger than regular hollow blocks, they also cost less on a per square meter basis.

Each ecobrick disposes of about 100 pieces of shredded sachets in eco-friendly, sustainable manner.

The Prinza, Teresa Ecohub, which was launched on July 6, can produce more than 20,000 bricks a months, disposing of almost half a ton of plastic laminates in the process.

“We are proud to have our first community hub in partnership with our first corporate partner, Republic Cement. Our mission is very aligned with each other -- to create a sustainable and environmentally responsible community,” said Rommel Benig, president of GreenAntz Builders.

The success of this initiative as a business is largely dependent on the waste segregation and management program of the barangay.

“The partnership came naturally between Republic Cement and Green Antz,” said Anda Bolinas, sustainability director of Republic Cement. “Barangay Prinza already had a good waste management system in place, the Ecobrick Hub is a good addition to extend our support to the barangay.”

In Barangay Prinza, waste segregation is already part of every household. Waste is segregated accordingly into biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and recyclable bins. Through the week, the barangay also schedules regular collection of waste.

“We do our best to ensure that our citizens are abiding and practicing proper waste segregation at home,” said Barangay Prinza chairman Jose Manlangit. “Kung may disiplina tayo, maganda ang kabuhayan at ang kalikasan.”

The Ecobrick Hub will not only reduce the carbon footprint of Barangay Prinza but will also provide livelihood for the residents of the barangay.

“This is only the first for Republic and Green Antz. We are already looking into collaborating for more projects in the future,” said Atty. Bolinas.

Republic Cement is committed to environmental sustainability through ongoing initiatives that reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve energy efficiency, and preserve forests, towards building a stronger Republic.

The Philippines is currently ranked third among the world’s top three plastic polluters of the ocean.

According to a recent study done by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, the Philippines generates 2.7 million metric tons of plastic garbage each year, 20% of which end up in the ocean. (PR)