LandBank builds garbage-collecting boats made of recycled PET bottles

Government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) starts testing boats made of plastic bottles to collect garbage in tributaries of Manila City as part of the cleanup drive for Manila Bay.

LandBank has built five boats using 700 two-liter soda bottles attached to a metal frame to be distributed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to two tributaries or esteros this week.

At present LandBank and the MMDA are exploring the city to identify tributaries and communities that most urgently need the boats.

“We’ll be making more boats as we examine the city. Communities will need to sign agreements to ensure they will use them and maintain them. So, it’s also emphasizing their responsibilities to clean their own surroundings,” Catherine Rowena B. Villanueva, first vice president and president of Manila Bay Sunset Partnership Program of LandBank, said at the Landbank Manila Bay Cleanup 54th anniversary last Saturday on
Roxas Boulevard.

The design came from Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Sipag) Foundation Inc. that resized the boats smaller than the original ones created by Taiwanese Tzu Chi Foundation.

“With the new PET [polyethylene terephthalate] bottle boats, we are positive this will not only help clean Manila Bay but also address flood problems and rescue victims during calamities,” LandBank Executive Vice President Julio D.
Climaco Jr. added.

The recyclable  PET bottles were donated by LandBank’s other 27 partners and communities, including public schools, where it teach waste management thorough lectures and videos.

This year LandBank, together with Maynilad, will also educate communities on liquid wastes that add pollution in the small waterways.

Apart from the boats, LandBank is distributing 9,000 mud balls to be dropped into the water to kill harmful microorganisms and remove bad smell. The balls are sourced locally and cost P15.

LandBank has already piled 4,000 mud balls at the cleanup event, along with 1,500 sacks of garbage from the bay.

With its additional four partners this year and 5,000 employees, LandBank plans to conduct the Manila Bay cleanup weekly, more often than its quarterly operation.