SMC eyes building bike lanes made from recycled plastic
Following its earlier creation of asphalt road made from post-consumer plastic waste, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is now targeting to do the same for bicycle lanes.
In a statement, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said that they are looking forward to work with technology partners and local government units for the creation of said bicycle lanes.
He made such proposal upon seeing the influx of cyclists during the quarantine period.
“It has almost been a year since we started our plastic road initiative and so far, our pilot site has held up very well. It’s in our logistics facility—used heavily everyday by large vehicles with heavy loads. Very soon, I think we can graduate it for light public use, specifically, for bicycle lanes,” Ang was quoted as saying.
The SMC chief hopes that such technology can be used more widely—particularly on public roads. However, such program is still in its early stages and continuous tests are still being done to determine long term usability.
SMC announced that it would be “buying up plastic wastes from assemblers and LGUs to process and use as fuels at its cement facilities, in a bid to lessen dependence on fossil fuels.”
Since cycling has become a viable alternative mode of mobility, Ang claimed, there is a need to keep roads safe for cyclists too.
“Because of social distancing and restrictions on transportation, more of our countrymen are now biking to work. It promotes health and fitness, lessens pollution and provides a cost-free way to get to one’s destination, and has also been embraced by many LGUS who have set special bike lanes on roads,” Ang explained.
“Our roads are not designed with cyclists in mind. What we hope to do is work with LGUs and technology partners to come up with solutions for people on bikes that are safe and cost-efficient,” he added.
As early as 2017, SMC discontinued the plastic bottled water business to focus on sustainable goals.
It was in In November last year that SMC and Dow Philippines announced its first recycled plastics road initiative, built on a 1,500-square meter pilot test area at its logistics center in General Trias, Cavite. A total of 900 kilos of plastic waste were turned into binder, together with bitumen, in producing the asphalt.
Relatedly, SMC launched a program earlier where they provide affordable bikes to its employees and extended manpower.
Photos from San Miguel Corporation, Ruben D. Manahan IV