In a new step to reduce its plastic footprint in the environment, food and beverage manufacturer Nestlé Philippines has entered into an agreement with Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx) to collect soft plastic waste from Baseco in Tondo, Manila, Payatas in Quezon City, and Rodriguez in Rizal province.
Nestle Philippines will support PCEx in its collection of post-consumer soft plastics from communities, consolidators and local government units. The plastic waste will be co-processed and diverted from landfills.
The initiative falls under a plastic waste collection, recycling, and recovery program that Nestlé Philippines is implementing with various partners and stakeholders.
“With plastic waste continuing to accumulate in landfills and oceans, the need for tackling plastic pollution has never been so pressing. It is an urgent priority for us and an issue we take seriously,” said Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki.
Headed by Founder and President Nanette Medved-Po, PCEx is an offshoot of HOPE in a Bottle, a brand of bottled water that commits 100 percent of its profits to the building of public school classrooms in partnership with the Department of Education.
A non-profit organization, PCEx takes pledges from companies of all sizes and industries, and funds operations that prevent plastic waste from ending up in nature. It engages communities of waste collectors and aggregators and organizes this informal sector to create dignified work and offer improved livelihood.
“The journey of HOPE to sustainability – and therefore to the Plastic Credit Exchange – in a way, started with Nestlé. Years ago, their Philippine CEO reached out to me about projects that Nestlé was supporting – like eco-bricks. From there, HOPE began to explore environmentally sustainable and affordable ways for companies to be responsible for their plastic footprints. In 2019 we established the Plastic Credit Exchange from our learnings and came back to Nestlé whom we felt would be a natural partner, given our common goals for sustainability,” Ms. Medved-Po explained.
Nestlé Philippines is also participating in the Aling Tindera Waste-to-Cash program recently launched by PCEx and the City of Manila, in which women with sari-sari stores will be provided with incentives for their stores to become collection points for post-consumer plastic waste.
Benefits of the program include increased income opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs and city residents; a more organized informal sector of waste collectors; and a cleaner environment and improved health.
Each participating sari-sari store will be equipped with a container van to hold collected plastic waste turned in for cash.
The container vans will be sponsored by corporations including Nestlé Philippines
Mr. Marzouki stressed that while they are working on packaging innovations, alternative materials and plastic reduction, as well as education campaigns, they are finding ways to divert plastic waste from landfills and oceans.
The company recently announced the shift to paper straws for its ready-to-drink products that will eliminate 130 metric tons of plastic straws by the end of the year, when the changeover is expected to be completed.
“We are determined to look at every option to solve complex packaging challenges and embrace multiple solutions that can have an impact now. For our part, we at Nestlé envision a waste-free future in the face of these complex challenges. We are glad to be taking a concrete step, one among many, toward realizing that vision through our partnership with PCEx,” Mr. Marzouki said.