PS kids can be active and interactive recyclers

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Farolan plays Foil Catcher

Waving her hands, swaying her hips, even bending her knees, a little girl in pink tried to catch all the flying foil packs in a game similar to a Nintendo Wii motion-controlled game.

Isabelle Farolan, 7, played Foil Catcher again and again at the Tang Galing Club: Virtual World media launch at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City. The music hall was transformed into a computer game-like setting for a whole day of fun and educational activities that promoted environmental causes.

“I’ve played a lot of times,” Farolan said. “I like the game because you’re not only exercising, it also teaches you to recycle stuff.”

A player tries to grab as many foil packs as possible in one minute to “build” chairs. He/she earns points by catching as many foil packs as possible, with every 10 packs equivalent to one chair.

Tang’s “Project RecyClass” is a lot like the game. The foil packs collected will be turned into school chairs. The powdered juice brand aims to produce 10,000 chairs for selected public schools in Metro Manila by collecting 30,000 kilograms of empty Tang foil packs from communities nationwide.

Tapping kids

Tang is tapping kids 7-12 years old to be at the forefront of the advocacy program.

By registering online at www.tanggalingclub.com, children pledge to make a difference through recycling and enter a world of fun and interactive activities that teach them simple ways to contribute to society. The club has around 15,000 members.

“The power to change the world is in everyone, most especially in the little hands of our empowered young children,” Michelle Santillan, Tang brand manager, said during the media launch. “Kids from

7 to 12 years old no longer see themselves as just children. They want to be more and they want to do more.”

She said a survey they conducted showed that more than 50 percent of Tang Galing Club members wanted to “show their galing (competence) by caring for the environment.”

To allow the youth to do that, Tang decided to invest in the advocacy program, which would not only benefit the environment but also public school students, she added.

Gaming for environment

Using a TapIt card to enter the Tang World, children went on a mission to save Mother Earth by playing the Garbage Collector, Foil Catcher and Garbage Toss games.

A hit among kids was the Garbage Collector, where they had to put the colored garbage bags into their corresponding trucks. Pheobe Barranda, 8, said the game taught her the

Girl scouts and other kids pledge to recycle

importance of throwing garbage into the proper trash can.

Separating recyclables from nonbiodegradable materials makes it easier to reuse the recyclables or turn them into something useful, like the foil packs that will soon reappear as chairs for public school students.

Student’s idea

The recycling drive was actually a public school elementary student’s idea.

Alex Tacderas, Kraft Foods Philippines’ category marketing manager for beverages, said they asked children at one of their workshops how foil packs could be recycled. Among the answers was turning them into bags, wallets, centerpieces and playgrounds.

He recalled that one student said if foil could be transformed into chairs, that would be hitting two birds with one stone. One, it would actually help reduce foil waste and, two, it would provide chairs needed by public schools.

The project can also save trees. Why use three trees to make one chair when 3 kg of foil packs may be recycled into one chair?

For the Tang project, Envirotech Waste Recycling will be converting the foil packs into flood-proof plastic school chairs. The Davao-based recycling company has been converting soft plastic waste into school chairs, benches, floor tiles, beach chairs, fences, walls, decks, paving blocks and roof tiles.

The Philippines generates

8.5 million kg of assorted waste every day, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Solid Waste Management Commission. About 4.6 million kg are plastic waste.

At the Tang Galing Club event, the audience was shown a video presentation of the recycling process. Miniatures were also displayed to show how foil packs were turned into chairs—from collection, shredding and crushing, melting and molding, assembly to finishing and the painting of chairs.

Chairs made from Tang foil

The powdered juice brand invited the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) to help with the project.

Ginnie Oribiana, GSP program director, said this was the second time they would be working with Tang. They would help collect foil packs in schools and communities.

GSP has been into recycling for more than a decade, Oribiana said. By joining the Tang Galing Club, they were continuing what they had started and widening their reach, she said.

Lorelie Fuentes, a girl scout for six years now, said, “We need to take care of the environment to avoid floods and other disasters.” The 11-year-old student of Bangkal Elementary School has supported activities for the environment such as tree-planting, according to her mother.

Collection of empty foil packs will be done through 50 barangays all over the country. The schedule is posted on Tang’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TangPhilippines.

Photos by Romy Homillada

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