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Recycled Trash Uses 0708

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 6 months ago
Recycling Paper
By Hansol Jang

Description and Rationale


How can used paper be helpful to the environment? Paper can be useful because we can recycle it and reuse it. The topic chosen for this project is recycling used paper and making crafts from them. For example, people can make paper airplanes out of used paper. The papers will be from any ordinary family homes such as phone book, newspapers, magazine, and any used papers. Thinking of recycling papers, there are many benefits that people in the Philippines can get.

How can recycling papers impact the Philippine in positive way? What happens to papers that have been used in school and other places? What is paper made out of? Is there any way to reduce wasting papers? Are there any types of paper that cannot be recycled? In what ways can recycled papers be used to help the society in the Philippines? What are the steps to recycle papers? How can papers turned into useful crafts?

What are some of the benefits of recycling papers? Recycling papers can benefit humans, animals, and the environment around the Philippines. Papers are composed of vegetable fibers bonded with hydrogen bond. Papers are made from wood pulp from pulpwood trees. So, by recycling papers, we can reduce cutting down trees to make more papers. If we don’t cut many trees, animals don’t get to lose their home and their resources. For Filipinos, they can save money since they don’t have to make extra amount of papers.

To understand how papers can be recycled and how they can benefit Filipinos, I will go out research, observe, study, and see how papers are treated in the Philippines. Also, I will interview people who make crafts out of recycled papers. Also, try to make examples and see how they can help the Philippines. These researches will help me to think how to help the Philippines by reusing papers.

The main goal of this project is to show that recycling papers can be helpful to the environment. Also, I hope that this could reduce wasting papers.


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Common Names and Synonyms


Musa Textilis is the scientific name for the Abaca tree. Abaca can be also called Bacbac. Its fiber, called Manila hemp, is used to make paper and rope.




Kingdom- Plantae - Plants

Phylum- Tracheophyta - Has vascular system

Class- Liliopsida - Lily

Order- Zingiberales - Banana, ginger, prayer plant, cannas

Family- Musaceae - Banana

Genus- Musa - Banana

Species- Textiles - Abaca


Abaca is very similar to the banana tree in appearance but with some differences. The difference between banana trees and Abaca trees is that the leaves on Abaca trees are upright, pointed, narrower and taper more than the leaves on banana trees.


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Morphology and Physical Description


The Abaca tree has 12 to 30 stalks spreading out from the center root. The Abaca tree grows to an average height of 20 feet. Its leaves are narrow and has pointy end. The color of the leaves is glossy, dark green. The lengths of the leaves are about 8 feet and the width is about 12 feet. The stem of the Abaca grows to a height of 9 to 12 feet. The Abaca tree’s fiber is considered as the strongest fiber which it can be 5 to 12 feet long. When those fibers are separated from the plant, it is called Manila, named after the Philippine’s capital city. The fruit produced by the Abaca tree is green, 5 to 6 centimeter long, 1 to 2 centimeter in diameter, and it is filled with black seeds.


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Getting Food


Just like other green plants, the Abaca tree produces its own food by process call photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process where plants change light energy into food energy and releases oxygen and water as byproducts. For Abaca to grow, it needs large amount of moisture is needed. Abaca require warm, humid climate so it grows well in countries where its elevation is below 1,000 meters. The Abaca tree don’t require very large amount of water to grow but it is important to be watered evenly through out the year. Most suitable soil for Abaca to grow in is volcanic soils.


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The Abaca tree has Abaca heart hanging down from the plant. In the Abaca heart, there are seeds. Seeds are small brown, and round. Using seed is one way to replant Abaca trees. When the Abaca heart opens, its seeds come out and spread on the ground. Abaca tree is also cultivated by placing pieces of the rootstock in ground during rainy season. Using rootstock is more practical way to cultivate Abaca than cultivation by seeds because it can be done at right time and right season. Seeds don’t always grow well by itself. Sometimes they get wasted if they land in non-soil.


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Environmental Factors


The Abaca tree lives mostly in warm, wet, and volcanic soils. It require warm and humid climate. Also, The Abaca tree requires water evenly given through out the year. The soil where Abaca is planted needs to be able to provide enough moisture and not be oversaturated. In the Philippines, Abaca is found in Mindanao, Visayas and the Bicol because of the suitable weather. Eighty-five percent of world’s Abaca trees are found in the Philippines. The Philippine is a good place for Abaca to live in because the Philippines is hot, humid, and has abundant rainfall. The Philippines is also close to the equator which it makes more suitable temperature for Abaca to grow.

There are several diseases that can harm the Abaca tree. The main three diseases are Abaca mosaic, Abaca Bunchy-top virus and Abaca bract. Nowadays, people are researching to cure these diseases. If Abaca trees are not protected, they may disappear from the Philippines forever.


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Origin and Distribution


Most of Abaca trees are from the Philippines but, they also can be found in Borneo, Indonesia, and Central and South America. Abaca trees mostly grow in rainforests so they are found in tropical rainforests in South Asia. If the environment is not hot or not humid enough, Abaca tree won’t grow very well.


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Importance to People


The Abaca tree has many uses. Its fiber is used in making ropes, furniture, and clothes. When Magellan, a Portuguese navigator who arrived at Cebu in the Philippines in the 15th century, people were wearing clothes made out of Abaca fiber. The rope made out of Abaca is water-proofed so it is commonly used on the boats. Abaca fibers are also used to produce paper.

Eighty-five percent of world’s Abaca is found in the Philippines. People in the Philippines get fibers out of its stalks. The fiber, which is considered as the strongest fiber in the world can be transformed into many products. Because of the enormous production of Abaca, it affects the Philippines’ economy greatly. The Abaca is a great natural resource to trade with the world.


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Survivability and Endangered Status


Abaca trees are in danger because of diseases which can harm the Abaca tree. Because of pollution caused by humans, diseases became more common to attack Abaca trees. Another cause of danger is because of the people who cut down trees. People are actually cutting down forests to build new buildings. As the population grows, people need more land to build houses. As a result, people have to cut down forests. This can cause forests that grows Abaca trees can be destroyed. Another cause of danger is the greenhouse effect. If the temperature gets hotter and hotter each year, it can change the suitable weather for Abaca trees to live in. If the weather is too hot, Abaca tree can dry to death. If we don’t start protecting the environment, there may be no more Abaca trees in the Philippines in the future.


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Potential Solutions


It is said that the rate of making paper is faster than the rate of the growth of a tree. It is also true that many papers get wasted by people. From this, we can know that someday, there would be no more trees left. To prevent the deforestation, we have to save paper by recycling them. What are some practical ways to recycle paper to help people in the Philippines? Below, there are three possibilities that seem very practical along with its advantages and disadvantages. 


Possibility 1 



One possible way to recycle paper is to make a new paper out of used paper. This process begins with soaking the paper into the water. When the paper gets soaked and wet, mash it into fine pieces until it becomes like clay. On a flat surface, spread the mashed paper into rectangular shape and flatten it. Let it dry until water is completely gone. When it dries completely, we can use it again.



1. We can use paper again, again, and again so that we won’t waste very much paper. Also, there will be no piling paper if we reuse them. By using them again, we can save a lot of money.

2. Fewer trees are cut to make new paper. Which it is good for the environment. This also means less pollution. When paper is made in factories, it creates lots of harmful gases that are damaging earth’s ozone layer. If we recycle paper, there will be less pollution than creating new paper.



1. Since it is homemade paper, it won’t be very neat and won’t be in a good shape.

2. It takes time to go through the paper making process.

3. Water also cost money, which means it can also result in wasting water.


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Possibility 2


Another possible way is to using paper to keep soil wet and moist. Cut the paper into small pieces and place the on the soil where growing plant is on. When the soil is watered, the paper gets wet. The wet paper keeps the soil moist for longer period so that the plant does not need to be water as often.



1. This helps plant to grow better since the soil is wet and moist all the time.

2. The owner doesn’t have to water the plant very often since there is water absorbed in the paper.



1. The paper must be replaced when they won’t absorb the water anymore.

2. The owner might become lazy and might not take care of his or her plant, which it can lead to plant’s death.


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Possibility 3


Another possible way is making crafts. In the Philippines, there is a company that makes craft items out of used phonebooks. The company is named Alay Kapwa Christian community. For my action step, I decided to make paper airplanes and paper folded bird to teach the Filipino kids. It’s similar to making crafts out of phonebooks because we are making something creative out of used paper. I taught them how to make different kinds of airplanes and a bird. The papers we used were my old school papers that I didn’t need. After all the fun exercises we did, I told them the reason why I was using used papers. I also taught them not to throw away their old papers, instead use them in a creative way.



1. When we make craft out of used paper, we are not wasting paper. It is a creative way to reuse papers that are used before. Crafting is very good way to decorate your house. Crafts are also good gifts to give to people. Paper can be very entertaining. We can make anything we want out of paper. Again, we can also have fun with paper. For example, for my action step, we made paper air planes and we had a competition, whose plane would fly the farthest.

2. When people sell the craft that they made from used paper, its almost pure profit. It is an effective way to make money. There are many Filipino families living in a harsh condition. Once, I read in a magazine about a man who works as a tricycle driver. He is living a really hard life which he couldn’t see his family for several years. If a person like him makes crafts and sell it, he might make more money than driving tricycle.



1. It takes efforts to make one craft item. Also, it takes time to make a craft with only hand, without machines.

2. Crafts are handmade, which means it might not be perfect. Because of it, some crafts are thrown away which is a waste.

3. Some people would not buy it if it isn’t very good looking.


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"Abaca Plant (Musa Textilis) - Manila Hemp." Philippine Herbal Medicine. 1 Mar. 2008. 12 Apr. 2008


"About Abaca Plant." Abaca Philippines. Jan. 2007. 12 Apr. 2008 <http://www.abacaphilippines.com/abaca.php?go=about&show=plant>.

Beyenhof, Lauren. "Tips on Saving Paper and Trees." Helium. 25 Apr. 2008 <http://www.helium.com/items/152809-paper-difficult-things-remember>.

Lee, Juhyung. Personal interview. 30 Apr. 2008.

Lunor, Lourdes. E-Mail interview. 30 Apr. 2008.

Mayntz, Melissa. “Recycle Paper Products.” Green living. 25 April 2008 <http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Recycle_Paper_Products>.

"Paper." Wikipedia. 7 Apr. 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper>.

Saleeby, Murab. "Abaca (Manila Hemp) in the Philippines (Musa Textilis)." Filipiniana. 1915. 13 Apr. 2008 <http://www.filipiniana.net/read_content.jsp?page=1&fpage=1&epage=15&filename=BKJ000000001&keyword=sherlock9152584&searchKey=sherlock9152584&submit.x=4&submit.y=9>.

"The Abaca Plant." Wigglesworthfibres. 13 Apr. 2008 <http://www.wigglesworthfibres.com/products/abaca/abacaplant.html>.

“Three Ways to Recycle Paper?" Yahoo. 25 Apr. 2008 <http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080109050526AANi3ov>.


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