There really is no wrong time for innovation, it’s all a matter of getting through one obstacle after another to bring the idea to life. No one knows this more than local enterprises, especially the innovators who joined Shell LiveWIRE.

Shell LiveWIRE is Shell’s flagship enterprise development program. First launched in the country last year, the program called for tech startups, and community and social enterprises that aimed to contribute to the continued development of the country with their groundbreaking ideas. Shell LiveWIRE offers not just a large platform for their businesses to be seen, but also prestigious prizes along with a variety of support from Shell.

One of Shell LiveWIRE 2020’s finalists is the Macajalar Wharf Porter’s Association (MWPA) – EcoBricks.

MWPA seeks to reduce plastic waste by collecting and processing it in an EcoBrick facility that turns these into a durable building material which can be sold to Shell retail stations, infrastructure projects of the government, and private industries.

The idea behind the EcoBrick facility intersects providing an income opportunity and climate action. This facility and project is powered by by GreenAntz Builders, Inc. and Billion Bricks, in partnership with the LGU of Cagayan de Oro City, BLGU Macabalan, and Macajalar Wharf Porters Association (MWPA).

MWPA porters’ livelihood has been greatly affected by the pandemic. As their primary earnings mainly revolve around passengers and incoming cargoes, travel restrictions have limited the amount of money they’re able take home to their families. The EcoBrick facility provides MWPA’s members with an additional and alternative income source to help them get by.

Moreover, plastics—specifically single-use sachets—have been observed to be a prevalent issue in their community. When not properly disposed, these sachets clog up drainages which then cause flooding whenever rain starts to pour. The production of EcoBricks help keep these sachets out of drainages by upcycling them and other plastics to become a building material.

Through Shell LiveWIRE and months of hard work, the EcoBrick hub was finally completed in April, much to everybody’s anticipation.

On May 19, 2021, the soft launch of the Shell LiveWIRE EcoBrick facility pushed through.In the morning, the on-site ribbon cutting was accomplished, as well as the turn-over of the key to the EcoBricks delivery vehicle. The key was accepted by the Chairman of the Macajalar Wharf Porters’ Association, Mr. Villaruel Jumawid, Jr.

In the afternoon, the Shell LiveWIRE EcoBrick facility was launched to a part physical and part virtual audience. The launch was attended by a few very important leaders from both PSPC and PSFI, and some community partners.

The launch of the EcoBrick hub is a great example of how some problems are interconnected, where helping the environment could also mean helping Filipinos’ safety and livelihood. Through the collaboration between partners, EcoBricks shall build hope, opportunities, and put together a wall of defense against worsening environmental problems, one brick at a time.