The foundation arm of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is providing $1 million to RiverRecycle Oy, a Finnish nongovernment organization, that aims to pioneer a “financially-sustainable river waste collection system for the Pasig River.”
The initiative, according to ICTSI Foundation President Christian R. Gonzales, involves the collection of plastic waste from the river using a device designed by RiverRecycle to capture between 70 and 200 tons of waste daily.
The collected plastic waste will be converted into oil before being converted back into plastic.
“As a good corporate citizen, supporting this project with RiverRecycle is part of our commitment to environmental conservation and the welfare of our host communities along the Pasig River and the port area. We are very optimistic about the potential environmental impact of this endeavor,” he said.
The partners will also launch an awareness campaign “to empower local communities to adopt more responsible waste management behaviors – a key step to reduce and eventually eliminate plastic pollution.”
RiverRecycle Founder and CEO Anssi Mikola said the initiative complements existing efforts to revive the Pasig River, known as one of the country’s main waterways.
“Our solution not only removes the plastic already in the rivers, but also provides sustainable waste management where it’s needed most. The project will take us one step closer to converting the plastic ‘waste’ problem into a circular economy model that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment,” he said.
Aside from removing waste debris from the Pasig River, the project is also expected to reduce the number of water hyacinths, which impede the flow of water, resulting in increased sedimentation.