The Plastic Flamingo (The Plaf)

The Plastic Flamingo (The Plaf)
Author: Mae Jordaine B. Diopenes Date Created: 5/2/2023 4:03:00 PM

The Plastic Flamingo is a social enterprise aimed at collecting plastic waste and recycling it into construction material. Based in the Philippines, the Plastic Flamingo, or the Plaf, collects and sorts plastics before shredding the plastic and transforming it into planks and posts. These planks, also called eco-lumber, is being used to make fencing, furniture, and even shelter, as the Philippine population suffers from recurring damages from annual typhoons and floods. 

The Plaf has several drop-off points mainly in Metro Manila, with a few in the cities of Cebu and Davao. These are areas where the public can drop off their plastic waste. The company then weighs, cleans, and sorts the plastic, before being molded into eco-lumber or plastic pellets, depending on the project.

The Plaf also offers itself as an Extended Producer Responsibility Partner, wherein large enterprises that produce plastic waste create a framework to prevent waste leaking into the environment, as stipulated in the Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022. They partner with companies to upcycle their plastic wastes. Some past partners include World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines, Tetra Pak, and Coca-Cola Far East Limited Philippines, Inc.

Result Achieved

The Plaf has over 250 plastic collection points around the country, most based in Metro Manila. They have begun to expand their services and now have drop-off points in Cebu and Davao City. In total, they have managed around 507 tons of plastic waste. In addition, they have also done four beach clean-ups.

The Plaf has also partnered with 11FTC, a retail marketing solution company, to distribute the produced eco-boards in order to create furniture and other shelving. The Plaf has also reported the creation of the second version of their transitional shelter to support families affected by natural disasters. In addition to their environmental impact, the Plaf has also had a social impact, hiring 36 workers from low-impact families.

Challenges and Lesson Learned

The Philippines is one of the biggest plastic pollutants in the country that is lacking in proper waste management. This is exacerbated by single-use sachets, with 164 million pieces of sachets used per day. It becomes a nation-wise issue that needs solutions.

Regarding the process of the Plaf, a challenge that the company faces is the type of plastic waste they receive, as some of the waste they receive cannot be turned into their products. The Plaf has put out an infographic detailing what types of waste they can recycle and what should not be sent to them. They can recycle most types of plastics, such as PET, PVC, etc., but they do not accept styrofoam, used sanitary products, or e-waste.


The Plastic Flamingo exemplifies understanding your local context. Their recycling program has been designed to meet the needs of Filipino citizens. Other initiatives can replicate this by recycling for a community-relevant purpose. Furthermore, the Plastic Flamingo is involving their community by allowing individuals to sort and clean their waste before dropping it off at collection points, which others who want to involve their community in the recycling process can replicate.

The kNOwWaste Knowledge Platform was developed through a Project Cooperation Agreement funding by UNEP on 2016. The platform provides data and information on holistic waste management to stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific region. The platform was developed with the following aims: generate and consolidate data or information on holistic waste management, transform data into easily comprehensible outputs for use by key stakeholders, map out and disseminate information on international waste management projects under the GPWM and UNEP projects as well as other international partners, and provide capacity building support through dissemination of data or information support for relevant stakeholders on holistic waste and waste management system.
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