Ecobricks…liter of light…


SINCE the tragedy of Typhoon Sendong that befell Cagayan de Oro City, local residents and our city disaster risk reduction management department are always on the lookout whenever heavy rain pours in. And since that tragic night almost eight years ago, the same areas still experience flooding. The massive infrastructure projects implemented both by the national and local agencies promised to address the worsening deluge of rain water in major thoroughfares. But to everyone’s’ disappointment, flood water is still everywhere.

Plastic. Plastic. Everywhere.

The aftermath, we see tons of garbage – plastics in these areas that have been flooded.

The City Government of Cagayan de Oro has recently started implementing the garbage segregation. This is in compliance with R.A. No. 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Take note, this law was created 19 years ago and it was only recently that our local government began taking actions to put this in place.

Everyone would certainly agree with me that the implementation is receiving poor response from the public. In addition, the no plastic ordinance in all business transactions – grocery, markets, malls, sari-sari stores, and the likes has been in place. But why do we still see single-use plastics everywhere?

Most common of this are plastic bottles both used for water and sodas. They are still available in the markets, groceries, restaurants, and stores. Why is that? Why are they still available? Establishments selling beverages in plastic bottles should not be exempted from this policy.

Have you heard of Ecobricks? How about Liter of Light? These are projects conceptualized to help recycle plastic bottles.

According to, “An Ecobrick is a reusable building block created by packing clean and dry used plastic into a plastic bottle to a set density.

Ecobricks can also be packed with other non-biological unrecyclable that, un-contained, and are toxic to the environment (i.e. styrofoam, wires, small batteries, etc.). Ecobricks are used to make modular furniture, garden spaces, walls and even full scale buildings. It’s an exciting way that individuals, communities, and companies can start their transition from plastic towards ever greener harmony with the Earth’s cycles.”

Now, a public school is doing a project on this to build a classroom. I commend this public school in Nazareth for encouraging their students to participate and feel the need to help our environment.

Likewise, what is “liter of light”? It’s a clear plastic soda bottle filled with filtered water and bleach and installed in the roof as a skylight. The water refracts the sunlight as it streams through the bottle, dispersing the rays 360 degrees, thereby illuminating the entire room. The recipients of the solar bottle bulbs, who pay about P1 for the bulb installation, save money on electricity and cut back on the use of kerosene, candles, and other fuels that are responsible for indoor air pollution and fire hazards. – Illiac Diaz, activist and Filipino entrepreneur.

Junior Chamber International Philippines (JCIP) in partnership with My Shelter Foundation (headed by Mr. Illiac Diaz) aim to make brighter Filipino homes in 2013 in at least 100 cities and 10,000 households in the Philippines. (

These are ways to make use of plastic bottles and do away with additional garbage. Let us transform all our plastic bottles to building blocks and eco-friendly lights to our homes.

Ajah for ecobricks and liter of light!


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