Pampanga students build ‘bottle school’
LUBAO, PAMPANGA—About 1,800 students at the San Pablo II National High School here have pooled together 9,000 PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles filled with shredded plastic wrappers.
“Eco-bricks” are how they call now the bottles that used to contain 250 to 500 ml of water, soda or juices. They have also stockpiled hundreds of 1.5-liter bottles.
After collecting the bottles for three weeks, they are out to embark on what may possibly be a feat or a model for Pampanga province and the rest of the country.
“They’re building a ‘bottle school,’” said Olivia Icban, the school principal whose students come from 15 villages here.
The structure is patterned after the Guatemalan model (HugltForward) bottle schools, according to lawyer Vivian Dabu, executive director of Kapampangan Manalakaran Inc. (Kamai), a nongovernment organization.
Dabu said the eco-bricks are going to be arranged and sandwiched in wire mesh to fill walls and doors.
The bottom of 1.5-liter bottles are to be cut and placed upside down on wet cement as floor tiles. The body of the bottles will be cut in half to serve as roof tiles.
The structure, which is being built on a 20-square meter lot in the 2-hectare campus, is named the Center of Creativity. “We plan to exhibit our art works or other talents here,” said Blessie Jayne Lampa, president of the supreme student government.
Construction period, which will take 15 days, will start today. This work-in-progress is done “bayanihan”-style. Each student is contributing 15 minutes of labor to the construction and will take turns helping maintain the place, Lampa said.
The village council has contributed sand. Aside from providing a mason and a laborer, Kamai showed films produced by Conservation International and organized forums on climate change and solid waste management.
Icban said the collection of PET bottles and plastic wrappers has reduced the school’s garbage to less than three sacks weekly. Dried leaves are no longer brought to the town dumpsite but are used to enrich gardens.
PET bottles are reused as receptacles for growing vegetables or made into household items like chandeliers, brooms, vases, solar light bulbs and curtains.