This Floating Billboard Is Cleaning Up A Polluted River in Manila

A Japanese natural cosmetics company puts its money where its environmentally conscious brand message is.

20 years ago, Manila's Pasig River was considered biologically dead. But there is a campaign to rehabilitate the waterway that cuts through the city and now a Japanese natural cosmetics brand is using a creative billboard to lend a hand in the cleanup efforts.

Recently we've seen a water-cleaning book and an air-purifying billboard in Peru, but here, Japan's Shokubutsu Hana, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Vetiver Farms Philippines, and agency TBWA\SMP teamed up to create a floating billboard to soak up pollution and discourage people from throwing trash in the river. It was made using vetiver, a type of grass that can absorb toxic materials and help to reduce pollution. Spelling out "Clean River Soon," according to the brand the installation is capable of cleaning between 2,000 and 8,000 gallons of water every day.

There are more billboard planned for other parts of the river, helping to clean up and show that outdoor ads can be much more than eye pollution.

[Images courtesy of Hana]

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  • arrazote

    A good start. Then the rest of the Manilenios should contribute by disciplining their minds not to pollute these beautiful natural gifts of nature. How clean and potentially beautiful Manila would be if only things would change starting with the new proper mind set of the people from top to bottom. But this is a good initiative. Kudos to Japan's 'Shokubutsu Hana'!

  • 41a8bd20

    A terrific initiative, to be sure. Sadly, however, I think Manila's overflowing populace will find numerous ingenious ways to clog it up, kill it with more toxins, and go on polluting -- a liquid tributary of Smoky Mountain, anyone remember that? Not only that, but most Filipinos are so far out of touch with the natural world, many would happily turn this all into concrete and put some fake bamboo alongside it. The Philippines is still home to many important biodiversity forest and marine reserves, for the most part they are paid for and managed by foreign organisations or governments, because corruption is completely rampant, particularly throughout Government. If it doesn't disappear from neglect or excess pollution, the next monsoonal flooding in Manila may well wipe it off the map altogether. But power to Shokubutsu Hana and the community groups involved -- Philippines needs plenty more of this!!

  • eric61478

    What a stunning, awful, grossly misguided generalization of a whole country, it's people and government. Have you read the news lately about the Philippines? Improvements are afoot and the business world have and is continuing to notice. Can you site your sources about foreigners managing the country's natural resources? I see that the government has a lot of work and the local culture needs to be jolted to improve, but come on - "corruption is completely rampant" - why in the hell would anyone bring up that country's credit rating???