Trade trash for a kilo of rice, toys: Plastic Barter Store opens in Cebu City

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2019 08:02 PM

The Plastic Barter Store accepts kilos of plastic from its customers as payment. Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

A store in downtown Cebu City offers its products in exchange for their customers' trash.

Called the "Plastic Barter Store," it only accepts washed recyclable plastic such as water bottles, sachets, and food packs.

The items on the store have corresponding number of kilos in exchange for an item. For example, a kilo of rice is equivalent to 4 kilos of plastic. 

The concept was launched by a group called 12 Baskets Movement, whose goal is to reduce plastic in Cebu City, noting that it is one of the leading cause of sewer clog-up during heavy rain. 

They also want to protect the environment by educating people on the effects of using too much plastic. 

The collected plastic will be shredded in their facility at Dumlog, Talisay City where it will be mixed with cement to form hollow blocks, which will be sold at P12 each.

"Plastic takes 100 years to be decomposed, therefore it is strong when it is to be mixed to become hollow blocks," said Gina Espenilla, volunteer at 12 Baskets Movement.

The Plastic Barter Store accepts kilos of plastic from its customers as payment. Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News


Most of the store's customers are scavengers who exchange the trash for food such as canned goods, slippers, and clothes. 

"This is better than buying a kilo of rice, just collect plastic and they give you [the product]," said Cherry Soliva, who gave 7 kilos of plastic to the store.

The "Plastic Barter Store" is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Currently, they do not accept plastics from big companies since they are prioritizing individuals.