Shell builds country’s first retail station using upcycled plastic waste in bulacan

“This past year has been all about accelerating our transformation to do better in our financial, social, and environmental dimensions,” said Pilipinas Shell Vice President and General Manager for Retail Randy Del Valle. “At Shell, we believe that this milestone station will not only help us reduce our carbon footprint and meet our ambition to reduce, reuse, recycle waste, but also set a precedent for smarter and cost-efficient station design.”

The move is a first step in Shell’s journey to support a circular economy approach, which is based on the concept that things are designed to last longer and to be reused, repurposed or recycled.

The station was constructed using 26,512 eco-bricks supplied by Green Antz and upcycled 1,200 kilograms of plastic waste, which is equivalent to 80,000 lubricant bottles.

Sourced from Green Antz’s Plaridel eco-brick hub, the materials were also gathered from various sources, including the waste management programs of the Malolos, Plaridel, Pulilan, Baliuag, and San Ildefonso local governments with the help of Plaridel’s chief eco-brick proponent Jocell Vistan.

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The eco-bricks help initiate a circular economy that not only reduces the plastics reaching landfills, but also generates commercial value out of what was previously considered waste for businesses in Plaridel.

“We call it urban mining. Instead of getting all the resources from the environment, we just look around and source for plastic waste,” said Green Antz CEO Engr. Rommel Benig. “In fact, we’re not calling it waste, we’re calling it a resource.”

While the eco-brick is more expensive per unit compared to traditional brick, buildings that use this alternative can reduce the overall cost of construction and operation, said Benig. Upcycled from plastic, glass and other debris, the eco-brick is more compact than conventional hollow blocks so less is needed for a build, and up to 5 times stronger, he explains.