Green products from waste matter go mainstream

Top Quote 1st Philippine International Eco-Show. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 03, 2010 - For this local company, it is easy being green. Award-winning industrial firm Plantex (from the words "plant" and "extract") shows that beyond income generation, choosing to be green can also be an advocacy that has the power to preserve nature and better the lives of people at the same time.

    Having grown from backyard operations in 2003, Plantex Solutions Manufacturing Corporation's household and homecare products are derived from indigenous materials ordinarily regarded as "waste" like overripe fruits and vegetables, as well as banana trunks, bark, and peelings.

    "We source our raw materials from farmers in Tanay and Laguna, and we also buy banana peelings from banana-cue vendors, which gives them additional income and... additional buying power," said Dinky Hementera, inventor and president of Plantex, and current head of the Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines.

    Bearing the Green Seal of Approval granted by the National Ecolabelling Programme - Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP), a national marketing initiative for eco-friendly products, the Plantex line is inspired from Hementera's early childhood memories in Davao. According to her, it was her great-grandmother who usually prepared a special concoction made from banana and other plant "wastes" which she would then use in dispelling unpleasant odors in rooms. "I was mesmerized whenever she did that," she recalled.

    This fascination with the various power of plants, as well as her desire to propagate a culture of entrepreneurship built on environmental awareness, are what she intends to share as Plantex joins the first Philippine international exhibit and conference on the environment in August - the government-led Philippine International Eco-Show (PINES) opening at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

    To be featured, among others, is the Plantex flagship product, the Plantex All-in-One Solution (a multi-purpose cleaner, odor eliminator and disinfectant, grease cutter, wastewater treatment solution, and compost activator in one) which has already received several accolades in the industry, including: the Most Sustainable and Environment Friendly Product Award at the Eco-Products International Trade Fair (EPIF) hosted by the country in 2009; and the Consumers' Choice and Dangal ng Pilipinas Annual Award as the Best Multi-Purpose Liquid Disinfectant Solution the same year.

    Recently, the firm launched the Plantex Green Advocates program, a movement which serves as an efficient distribution channel for Plantex goods. Through a direct selling scheme, the program allows an Advocate to start up a business with relatively low investment costs.

    "Our aim is to go beyond classes A and B who we think already appreciate what these organic products are all about, and reach classes C, D, and E, most of whom prioritize buying the cheapest goods available without... [giving nature a second thought]," said Hementera. "This is why we chose the advocacy route, because by providing these targets the means to use these discounted products as well as sell them, we can already talk to them about issues like global warming, climate change, and garbage segregation... work on value formation. Otherwise, if we just go direct to supermarkets, people wouldn't be aware."

    Also one of its advocacies, Plantex is a major partner in the Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) movement led by Gina Lopez of the ABS-CBN Foundation and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which aims to rehabilitate the most prominent river system in the country from its present deplorable state. Through bioremediation, which treats contaminated water using biological agents like bacteria, Plantex technology endeavors to treat the wastewater straight from its source - or as it comes out of septic tanks - and thus mitigate further pollution as the wastewater seeps into water bodies.

    In a statement, Gina Lopez claimed that such a process would be a great stopgap measure until central sewage treatment facilities are installed.

    For Hementera, taking care of the earth is the same thing as taking care of ourselves. "By advocating for the environment, it shows our gratitude to our Creator. It is our legacy to the next generation."

    Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), PINES serves as the country's response in confronting the problems of climate change by bringing together the best of its eco-industries.

    To learn more on environmental advocates such as Plantex, log on to

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