Feeding the Hungry While Cleaning the Trash

A grassroots movement in the Philippines is taking a bad situation and using it for good, by allowing poor families to trade plastic for rice. Families receive 1 kilogram of rice for every 2 kilograms of plastic they turn in.

This movement is feeding hungry bellies while also helping the residents of the Philippines to see the benefits of recycling.

It turns out that much of the trash from rich countries gets dumped on the poorer countries. And even though well-developed countries have recycling programs, that doesn’t mean the items that get thrown into recycling bins get reused.

Foilan Grate from the GAIA claims that “Recycling simply means that they send it to another country with the condition that it gets recycled, but it doesn’t matter if it actually gets recycled or not.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each U.S. citizen produces about 4.48 pounds of waste each day. That adds up to be quite a bit of trash. If recyclable items never get reused, the garbage will just keep piling up. This can become a severe issue of less developed countries.

But some countries are taking a stand. For instance, the Philippines recently returned 29 containers full of trash back to Canada, where the waste had initially come from.

And as already mentioned, the promise of free rice in return for plastic is motivating residents in the Philippines to start recycling. So the country is getting cleaned up, and its residents are being fed. It’s a win-win situation!



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