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This 78-year-old woman is the top plastic garbage collector in their community

By Jessica Pag-iwayan

If you think that only the young generation is “woke” when it comes to promoting sustainability and greener living, you’ve got it all wrong.

In Davao compound, Barangay Alabang, Muntinlupa, 78-year-old Nanay Teresita is the top plastic residual collector in their community. This makes her the top participant of Likha Initiative’s “Palit Bigas Activity.”

Palit Bigas Activity” is a program where Likha Initiative goes to different communities and encourages residents to collect plastic residuals in exchange of rice—two kilos of plastic is equivalent to one kilo of rice.

For three consecutive years, Nanay Teresita is the top collector of in their community. In the recently held “Palit Bigas Activity” she turned over 11 kilos of plastic.

Ang sikreto ko, magpulot ako ng plastic kada umaga sa court. Itong bigas na nakuha ko pang isang buwan ko na ito para makakain (Every morning, I go to the court where I pick up plastic residuals, that’s my secret. And this rice that I get in exchange of that, is enough to feed me for a month),” Nanay Teresita says.

According to Debbie Bartolo, founder of Likha Initiative, “Palit Bigas Activity” aims to empower community by providing programs that will benefit the area and its residents. “It is aligned with the mission of Likha to co-create envisioned communities,” she tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “The communities are provided with avenues to actualize activities they think will be most beneficial for them. This is also aligned with Likha as a catalyst of change through empowerment of marginalized.”

She also says that the collected materials are being turned over to the sanitation center for proper recycling. “[The collected plastic] are given to Environment Sanitation Center of Muntinlupa whom partners with Pure Ocean and Envirotech to turn plastic into chairs and other materials,” Debbie explains.

Based on Likha Initiative’s Facebook post, on 2019, Nanay Teresita had turned over 17 kilos of plastic. “Sana magtuloy-tuloy. Ngayon luminis na ang aming court dahil nagpupulot na ang lahat (I hope this program will continue. Our court starting to become clean because everyone is picking up trash),” she ends.

Thank you so much, Nanay Teresita! You’re an inspiration to us all.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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