IMPACT 0322: THINKING AND ACTING SUSTAINABLY
Paul Lee, 28, is a construction project manager turned actor. When he’s not flaunting his long hair on set, he is the marketing lead of The Plastic Project, a volunteer-based startup that recycles plastic waste from beach cleanups and households into reusable items.
Founded in early 2021, The Plastic Project seeks to purposefully prolong the life of plastics into jewellery, homeware and furniture. It also aims to provide education on plastic recycling and greenwashing. Through collecting, sorting, shredding, and melting in the workshop, donated plastics are transformed into products that can be reused. Other than their product lines, they also produce custom corporate gifts, organise beach cleanups, as well as facilitate physical and online workshops.
There is a lack of education and recycling infrastructure in Singapore. We are oblivious of how our waste is processed, what can be recycled, and what we can do to reduce our consumption. The majority of plastics disposed are being exported, incinerated and landfilled. The plastic recycling rate is reportedly only around 4 per cent, the lowest among other waste streams such as metals and paper. Just imagine how much packaging and takeaway containers have been produced and consumed since the pandemic began!
Before joining The Plastic Project, I had been heavily involved in digital and television commercials for brands like Gillette, Great Eastern, and Scoot, but wondered what these advertisements were for. What impact does posing in front of a product have? The only meaningful gig I took part in was for a Land Transport Authority (LTA) road safety commercial. I’ve since merged my interests in acting and environmental sustainability, and act for social and environmental impact. One of my biggest goals is to host documentaries about environmental issues.
The Plastic Project operates on weekends from 10am to 2pm at 91 Lorong Chencharu. They have a plastic collection point that accepts clean and stickerless Type 2 and 5 plastics. Find out more about them and register for sessions at www.instagram.com/theplasticproject.sg.