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Monday, July 15, 2024

Major PH firms pledge to curb plastic wastes

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources stepped up its efforts to reduce plastic pollution in the Philippines and sought the help of major companies to support a circular economy.

The DENR has long advocated for a circular economy where all plastic applications are reused, recycled and responsibly managed during and after use while enabling a lower greenhouse gas emissions plastic economy.

The DENR on April 22 launched the Earth Day Every Day Project to mobilize the youth in curbing plastic pollution and strengthen the fight against the use of plastic.

Earth Day Every Day Project is a plastics collection competition among students nationwide. It aims to engage the youth on the importance of recycling plastics and to foster a culture of environmental responsibilities in line with the values of scouting.

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga and the private sector signed a pledge of commitment for the project in Pasay City aimed at fighting plastic pollution in the Philippines.

Joining her in the collaboration were SM Supermalls president Steven Tan, SM Prime Holdings Inc. assistant vice president Jessica Bianca Sy-Bell, Nestle’ Philippines Inc. corporate affairs head senior vice president Joey Uy, Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) secretary general Kim Robert de Leon, and Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) national president Cristina Lim-Yuson.

“The Earth Day Every Day Project advocates the promotion of feasible methods to reduce waste and foster a culture of sustainability among the youth and communities, and motivates participation through incentives. For this, we thank Nestle, SM Supermalls, and the Boy and Girl Scouts of the Philippines for their invaluable support and collaboration. Their robust presence and proactive engagement will serve as a multiplier effect in our advocacy efforts,” said Loyzaga.

“Regenerating our planet has long been our advocacy at SM—through our many initiatives in recycling water and repurposing solid waste as well as the use of renewable energy. With this program where students will be motivated to collect plastics within their communities and bring them to our collection facilities at the nearest SM mall—active participation and a sense of friendly competition among the students will make this activity not only relevant but fun,” said Sy-Bell.

Student scouts from the BSP and GSP from various schools on April 22 brought the plastic items they collected, including plastic bottles and plastic bags for a weigh-in at SM Mall of Asia. The class with the highest volume of plastic items will win a prize.

“At Nestlé Philippines, we recognize that partnerships are essential in urgently and effectively tackling the plastic waste crisis. And so we work closely with our partners in implementing environmental sustainability initiatives. These include solid waste management education for 11 million public school students and capacity building for over two thousand community leaders nationwide. In collaborating with the DENR, we will be able to build greater synergies to fulfill our shared responsibility to nurture the health of the planet which we call our home,” said Nestle’s Uy.

Students brought the plastics they have collected to designated SM Supermalls collection facilities in the cities of Pasay, Marikina, Pasig, Manila and in Quezon City for the National Capital Region, and in Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Cebu and Davao.

The project is in line with this year’s Earth Day celebration theme, Planet vs Plastic, which “calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, rapidly phase out all single use plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, and demand an end to fast fashion, and build a plastic-free planet for generations to come.”

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