The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) has partnered with a non-government organization to provide a means where people can monetize plastic waste, which will help reduce wastes that end up in the Manila Bay.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on Monday led by DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan and Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx) founder Nanette Medved-Po for the establishment of "Aling Tindera" waste-to-cash centers.
The "Aling Tindera" project is based on the concept of "plastic offsetting" or providing a mechanism that allows businesses to take action in stopping plastic waste from polluting waterways and ending up in nature.
PCEx will provide community partners with purposefully designed 20-foot containers, one manual baler, and starting capital.
The "Aling Tindera" container will serve as an aggregation hub where any member of the community may sell post-consumer plastic by the kilogram, giving everyone an incentive not only to depollute their environment, but also to make extra income.
Meanwhile, a manual baler will be used to press together collected plastics into blocks for easier storage and transport.
Once the container is full, offset partners through PCEx will purchase the lot from the partner-communities and ensure that these are processed using environmentally sound technologies.
Under the MOU, the DENR-NCR and PCEx will establish a network of community-based partners all over Metro Manila for the waste-to-cash program.
The "Aling Tindera" community partners will serve as collection points for post-consumer plastic waste and center for aggregating, storing, and efficient transport of the waste to partner processing facilities.
The program is expected to provide community partners with income opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs and city residents, a more organized informal sector of waste collectors and, more importantly, help in the cleanup, rehabilitation, and preservation of Manila Bay.
Caancan expressed her gratitude to PCEx for choosing the DENR-NCR as its partner in the implementation of the program, assuring that the regional office will do its best to realize the intent of the MOU.
Medved-Po said they were excited when they learned about the multi-stakeholder program of the government to clean Manila Bay, explaining that the program greatly aligns with their organization’s goal of cleaning up plastic wastes that end up in the ocean.
She added that not only do they get to clean up the environment, but "we get to help women micro-entrepreneurs in the process as well, and get to teach the next generation of environmentally-conscious Filipinos."