Cebu start-up sells ‘plantable pencils’ 

By Gresheen Gift Libby |May 30,2019 - 10:54 AM

These plantable pencils from Eco Hub Cebu are regular pencils that are tipped with gelatine capsules that contain seeds of different varieties of plants such as mint, citronella, and sili (chili pepper). | photo from Eco Hub Cebu’s Facebook page

Cebu City, Philippines—Instead of throwing away used up pencils, why not plant them?

A Cebu-based start-up is making this possible by selling pencils that contain seeds which can be planted once the pencils are used up. 

The pencils are products of Eco Hub Cebu, which was put up by Mary Rose Arnejo, a former college instructor from the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U), in October 2018. 

Arnejo said that she first saw the plantable pencil concept from Sprout World, which is the first company to produce the product. 

These plantable pencils are regular pencils that are tipped with gelatine capsules that contain seeds of different varieties of plants such as mint, citronella, and sili (chili pepper). 

The plantable pencils can be ordered through the Eco Hub Cebu Facebook page at an introductory price of P20.

Arnejo said that at the moment, they are sourcing their products from abroad. But they are planning to partner with a local community in order to be able to locally produce the pencils and to provide more job opportunities. 

“Currently we only do the assembly of the pencils. But we’re looking at producing all parts locally so we can help more people have income,” she said.

Arnejo hopes that this unique product won’t just be a short-lived craze.

“We hope this is not another fad that will fade as instantly as how it escalated,” Arnejo stressed. “We do not need another fad. Rather, we need sustainable practices integrated into our daily activities.” 

Arnejo explained that Eco Hub Cebu was put up to help the public switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle. 

“I’ve noticed that the majority of our kababayans do not switch to eco-friendly lifestyle because they find the eco-products costly. (Example, the metal straw set that time was at P400) That’s why I came up with a start-up which will marry affordability with sustainability so people don’t have to choose between the two,” she said. /bmjo

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