Plastic bottle caps of Coca-Cola beverages are now being upcycled to gaskets for water ram pumps under the Agos Program, a water accessibility initiative of The Coca-Cola Company in the Philippines.
“We have always been looking for alternatives to the rubber gaskets for a long time, and we have also tried other alternatives. Then we thought, why not develop the gaskets for the ram pumps with recycled plastic? We started with scrap HDPE pipes and plastic caps from PET bottles,” said Auke Idzenga, founder of Bacolod City-based Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc.
Upon realizing that plastic bottle caps can be recycled to make ram pump spare parts, the beverage player’s local bottling partner, Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, signed a partnership with AIDFI and the foundation to donate used plastic bottle caps and scrap high-density polyethylene to the organization.
Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines has turned over 65 kilograms of HDPE and 625 kg of polypropylene caps.
As a grantee of The Coca-Cola Foundation and implementing partner of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines in the Agos program, AIDFI has been developing a ram pump model that is cost efficient and can easily be maintained. Inspired by the Precious Plastic program of Dutch engineer Dave Hakkens, AIDFI started developing small-scale plastic recycling machines.
The Agos program includes the installation of hydraulic ram pumps–a technology that utilizes the force of gravity to bring water to a higher location without the need for electricity or fossil fuel. This brings water into reservoirs, which then supplies the resource into common taps near households.