School-led recycling innovations in Bote Challenge

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    AS people are forced to stay home because of Covid-19 pandemic, the Earth is healing. If there is one positive consequence of the quarantine, it is that the Environment is being given a rest from the devastating effects of man’s technological pursuits.

    Prior to the pandemic, youth from the secondary school in Region 7 got engaged in environmental concern of recycling waste. From hammocks and eco bricks to water pipelines and house doors, there was no stopping the range of innovations that the youth thought of in a bid to win the Bote Challenge of Nature’s Spring Foundation, in partnership with Dep Ed Region 7.

    Bote Challenge was a solution search competition among secondary schools, which aimed to recognize, promote, and adopt sustainable initiatives for PET bottles. It sought to actively involve the youth, women, community-based organizations, local governments, and other mission-aligned partners in developing lasting solutions to plastic waste management and fostering a culture of upcycling/recycling within communities.

    The winning schools received project prizes for the school’s improvement plan, seed fund to upscale their innovation, and they officially became grant recipients of Nature’s Spring Foundation under its Adopt-a-School program.

    The grand champion won P750,000.00. The second placer received P400,000.00, while the third placer got P200,000.00. The 4th to 10th place winners received P80,000.00 each.

    The winners were adjudged based on impact, sustainability of innovation, profitability or market potential; and developmental limitations and opportunities. The final scores comprise 70% from a distinguished panel of judges and 30% from public votes.