Watsons Philippines conducted a clean-up drive at the coast of the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habit and Ecotourism Area (LLPCHEA) in celebration of the International Coastal Clean-up Day on September 17.
Watsons officials, employees, and partner suppliers collaborated with volunteer participants of CORA (Communities Organized for Resource Allocation) as they picked up non-biodegradable trash at the coast of the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habit Ecotourism Area. The area is also known as Las Piñas Parañaque Wetland Park.
The coastal clean-up activity of Watson’s “Do Good” efforts for the ocean hoped to raise awareness and inspire the volunteers to change their lifestyles.
“We learned that we cannot do this alone. That is why we have partnered with CORA, the local government, and we involved our employees and supplier-partners. We need to help each other to DO GOOD,” said Watsons’ Public Relations and Sustainability Director Viki Encarnacion.
CORA (Communities Organized for Resource Allocation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating sustainable programs to help solve global issues, including climate change and plastic pollution.
“We are very happy to see a retailer like Watsons be a responsible citizen of the planet and work with us on this clean-up drive. Plastic pollution and mismanaged waste are serious environmental concerns,” said CORA founder and executive director Antonette Taus.
The #CORAcleanUps Program helps remove plastic pollution from our Philippine seas and provides a livelihood for the “Bakawan Warriors” waste workers that recover marine debris from Manila Bay and surrounding areas while maintaining the biodiversity of the LPPCHEA.
The Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habit and Ecotourism Area is a group of structures in Las Pinas that helps to communicate to the public the importance of conservation and wise use of the mangrove and other wetland areas in the 175 hectares that make up a protected area.
The clean-up activity that took place was a first-time experience for the company. Since they didn’t have any employee outings, Encarnacion said, “Ito ang ginawa naming outing. This is where we brought our employees to do their share of cleaning up the ocean.”
As they have been gearing toward sustainability, Encarnacion revealed that the company would open its first-ever refilling station at the SM North Edsa The Block branch.
“We will have our first-ever Refill Station, so you don’t need to buy a full product anymore. You can now just come to the store and refill your own,” she shared.
Watson’s Customer Director Jared De Guzman added that the company would refurbish the branch as it will be the “Store of the Watsons Future,” with an area full of sustainable choices.
In line with the upcoming project of Watsons, they will be starting the refill stations with “Naturals by Watsons.” De Guzman also noted that customers do not have to pay for a new package. By bringing reusable bottles, customers can save up to 20 to 30 percent on the product.
Furthermore, the company is also getting in touch with partner suppliers who could be interested in taking part in their refilling project as they continue to encourage other people to switch to more sustainable choices.
Event participants included members of media, bloggers, influencers, and Watsons employee-volunteers and trade suppliers. The participants enjoyed a dance fitness warm-up as part of Watsons’ Get Active program before cleaning up dozens of sacks with their collected trash. After that, the collected trash was weighed, and awards were given to the participants.