Strategic Partnerships

  • 10 partnerships formed before or after GSIF experience
    • UPD faculty
      • Ma’am Jill & Sir Tito forming the initial concept of project and prototyping machines, providing a space to work in, hosting our activities, connecting us to other UPD alumni workers, touring us around town. We pushed into a form and vision with them. We needed their local knowledge, and they needed our perspective and energy. This would be stronger with more legitimized roles, responsibilities and rights outlined and defined between us.
    • UPD alumni
      • Collaborating on vision and design, assisted in cultural disparities, translated, pushed understanding and validation of the business model. We needed each other to ground our various romantic perspectives for implementation. Salaries, accountability, and transparency would help this relationship.
    • UPD current students
      • Assisting in various small activities that we did not have expertise in. They got work experience and we got help. We did not need each other, but we helped each other. Giving more roles/responsibilities would have helped to strengthen this partnership.
    • PPIA
      • Pushing our understanding of the state of plastics waste production and recycling manufacturing ecosystems and consumer expectations for plastic products in the Philippines. This is a symbiotic relationship because he wants to help support the plastics recycling ecosystem functionality of the Philippines, and we want to have realistic business model goals and expectations.
    • Ramone Augustines
      • This partnership was formed as Ramone was a Lehigh Industrial systems engineering graduate and lives in the Philippines. Ramone helped us by giving us a tour of his plastic film plant. The tour gave us an understanding of how a standard plastic plant operates and some details to consider when we make our own facilities. He has also hinted at the fact that his company might be available to give us capital. This is a very new partnership, but so far I’m not entirely sure if this relationship is mutually beneficial. I guess if he funds us then that would benefit us because we get money and it would benefit him because he can capitalize on CSR
    • Victor Paterno
      • Victor owns the 7/11 franchise in the Philippines. Unfortunately, we did not get the opportunity to foster a strong partnership with him, however, there is still an opportunity to grow such a partnership here. This would benefit us greatly, as the 7/11 franchise is a market that sells a large quantity of single-use plastic products. An effective way of strengthening this partnership would be to meet him or contact him.
    • Ludwig Federigan
      • We met with Ludwig and he was very excited by our product and shared vision. He connected us with various industry partners and is on board to continue promoting our project to his extensive network. He has helped us based on our vision of improving the Philippines’ environment even though we have not assisted him in any concrete fashion. This will likely grow stronger the more full-fledged our venture becomes.
    • Manam
      • Manam represents our first customer and an early adopter in our vision. They are graciously giving us their patience in developing our enterprise and machines before we are able to sell them the coasters they are purchasing. They want to tell their story as an environmentally conscious company, while we want to start our venture on solid footing. This partnership will be strengthened as Plastech continues to develop.
    • Malabon women
      • These women gave us insight into the feasibility of the local residents to perform recycling manufacturing roles efficiently and effectively. They also gave us insights into the municipality-level recycling ecosystems that we now intend on sourcing plastics from and setting up manufacturing facilities in. Giving these women more roles and responsibilities to begin earning a livelihood and making an impact in the community.
    • Malabon Gov
      • Facilitating relations with the Malabon women. They helped us to understand that there are other communities similarly organized as Malabon. We are helping them by giving them an opportunity to buy into the opportunity of creating livelihood opportunities in their own cities while reducing plastic waste. Strengthening the partnership could happen by giving them a recycling facility.
  • Coalition Name: Clean Seas
    • Vision: reduce plastic waste by having more plastic be recycled than produced
    • Mission: establish the standard in recycling infrastructure for developing countries
      • Do this by offering people a means of filling in existing gaps in large scale recycling industry using our micro facilities
    • Who is in our coalition:
      • PPIA President
      • UPD HEED
      • Malabon Likhaan
      • Malabon Government Officials
      • Filipino Gov Reps from waste management
      • Funding partner that will invest for facilities
    • Our vast network of small scale plastic recycling facilities
    • The communities that have adopted the facilities
    • Support and inclusion in our network of relevant NGO’s such as Plastic Tides etc
    • Governmental support and frameworks to help our facilities flourish
    • Philippines Hospitality– customer for products

GSIF Conceptual Framework

Below is an image of our conceptual framework for the GSIF program. The framework hightlights the cyclical nature of the program, cycling between academic endeavors (theory) and working the “real world” (praxis).  The program is of course centered around Impact, and operating between students, advisors, communities, and partners.  “GSIF is the Avenue for Change. ”

PlasTech Conceptual Framework

Our conceptual framework contextualizes the plastic problem, and how our solution fits into that problem.  It focuses on identifying the key factors in the plastic waste crisis, and highlights the ways in which our solution combats those key factors.


Team Dynamics


  • Personal Goals
    • Andy: Gain experience in mechanical engineering and use what I’ve learned in the classroom to improve the world around me
    • Rob: Understand how to balance personal life with a professional commitment
    • Ellie: Combine my passions in sustainability, gender equality, and mechanical engineering to make a long lasting impact on the people involved in this project
    • Devin: Learn where my skill set fits into the bigger picture of plastics waste recycling
  • Project Goal: “All plastic should be treated as a resource”. Our goal is to reduce plastic waste and elevate the livelihoods of those affected by the plastic waste crisis. 
  • Metrics for Success
    • Tons of plastic locked up into new, higher value products
    • “Livelihoods Elevated” through employment numbers


  • Who is responsible for which deliverables?
    • We divide work based on a combination of skill sets and interests. The more administrative work is divided evenly. For example, Devin and Rob will make and present the first presentation while Andy and Ellie will make and present the final presentation. 
  • Which deliverables require collaboration, subgroups and individual work? Who does each person depend on to succeed?
    • Machine testing, breaking and repairing is a team effort. That being said, Andy and Ellie are in charge of pushing that front of the project. Rob and Devin are more concentrated on paper content development and article content development. We can not have paper content development without a better understanding of the limitations of our machines. 
  • Do we need a project manager to coordinate?
    • Yes. We are not good at completing work without deadlines. We are not good at self-assigning deadlines. 


  • Decision making process: consensus, majority, loudest, etc?
    • The person who has the most energy and best argument is listened to the most. Sustaining that level of energy is incredibly difficult, making many decisions a default to the most logical conclusion. 
  • Focus on key timely discussions versus updates
    • This is a conversation that we need to have. Key timely discussions seem to happen every week, which makes separating the most important insights from the filler insights quite difficult. Updates are necessary to sustain forward-moving improvement. 
  • Meeting roles: scribe, facilitator, time keeper, etc.
    • Rob/Devin: Scribes
    • Andy/Ellie: Facilitators
  • Communication
    • Frequency, Time. Location:
      • Once a week at 4 pm in Wilbur Power House
      • Daily on Slack
    • Type of technology
      • Slack
    • Expectations for responsiveness:
      • Within a 24 hour window


  • What is the diversity of the team?
    • College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Business students are represented on this team. 
  • Team name
    • PlasTech Solutions