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Spoons find use as decor lamps

From afar, they look like expensive, decorative lamps that had kept the Christmas spirit alive inside the Cebu Information Technology Park and the Cebu Business Park in Cebu City.

But on closer look, the lamps reveal what they are made of—disposable plastic spoons discarded by fastfood chains.

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Three graduates of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) found their eureka moment in designing these eco-friendly lamps last year.

Rae Coliao was working part time in a fastfood restaurant when the idea of converting plastic spoons into lamps came up. He brought it up to classmates Annie Vi Cabarron and Sheila Mae Navasquez as a possible thesis.

Community impact

“We were required to work on a project with positive impact on the environment and the community. We thought about collecting disposable spoons and made sample lamps out of the spoons,” Coliao said.

He said his group was instructed to consider the limitations of a beneficiary barangay in terms of available manpower, equipment and space.

The students approached Rian Tante, chair of Barangay (village) Luz, who saw the project as a potential “hit product” for the holidays.

Tante said the students provided residents with the design and taught them how to make the lamps.

“Students help us a lot because they come here and introduce to us new designs, new ways of making products out of waste materials,” said Tante, who was a member of the village’s environment committee before he was elected chair in 2010.

Tante said the design of the sample lamps attracted individuals and groups visiting the barangay showroom in the village hall.

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Corporate giveaways

In November last year, representatives from Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI), an affiliate of Ayala Land Inc., visited Barangay Luz to look for potential Christmas giveaways. The lamps made of plastic spoons caught their attention.

They decided to use the lamps to decorate the Cebu Park District.

“We have chosen the lamps made of plastic spoons as Christmas decors … as our way of promoting and showcasing new, appropriate and recyclable decors from our neighboring barangays,” said CHI sustainability officer Elson Homez.

He said some of the plastic spoons and PET bottles that were used for the lamps were collected from the materials recovery facility run by his company.

School thesis

Since 2006, Homez said CHI had been buying from small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs Christmas giveaways such as pen holders, notepad holders, silver “bayong” bags and compost materials for household gardening kits.

Coliao said it never occurred to him that he and his classmates’ school thesis would win recognition and be used for public display.

Alein Navares, CIT-U IE department head, said the good result of his students’ work validated the school’s belief that “wastes are valuable resources.”

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TAGS: Cebu Business Park, Cebu Information Technology Park, Environmental Issues, handicrafts, recycling
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