Residents of Currimao bring their plastic wastes to the Barangay Hall in exchange for rice courtesy of the municpal government.
LAOAG CITY — The coastal municipality of Currimao in Ilocos Norte is currently making eco-friendly bricks for its kiddie park out of plastic wastes being collected from locals.
The local government unit is giving residents one kilogram of premium well-milled rice in exchange for a kilo of plastic wastes, to support its intensified solid waste management program.
Ericson Biag, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO), said Tuesday the “Palit Plastic to Bigas Program” of the Currimao government “is meant to reduce residual wastes in the municipality".
Starting the procurement of plastic wastes with PHP22,000 worth of rice, the program was officially implemented on March 4.
Biag said the municipal government has scheduled visits to each barangay where local residents can exchange their plastic wastes for rice.
“We are doing this to ensure they will no longer need to spend for transport when they go and deliver their plastic wastes to the municipal hall,” he said.
Eco-friendly bricks made out of a mixture of shredded plastic materials, sand and cement.
The collected plastics are being shredded and mixed with sand and cement to make bricks.
Biag, who is also the municipal agriculturist, said they plan to implement the project until such time that the locals have learned to manage their solid wastes.
Mayor Gladys Cue said the town's coast is a key biodiversity area but is currently under threat due to human activities affecting the environment.
“Protecting our natural resources is for our future generation and this will be my forever advocacy. It must be clear to all of us to focus on protection of environment and do something not to jeopardize it,” Cue said.
She noted that Currimao is among the first municipalities in the province to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Envrionment and Natural Resources on setting up practical systems to protect and conserve natural resources.
Young boys carry their household plastic wastes to have them exchanged for rice. (All photos courtesy of Ericson Biag)
Netizens have lauded the rice exchange program of the Currimao municipal government, saying all local government units in Ilocos Norte should emulate the town’s best practices.
“I wish we can do this too in Laoag to make sure we have a clean environment and avoid throwing plastics,” Hayzie Pascual Santos commented on Facebook, where the program has been posted online. (PNA)