Solid waste management (SWM) is one of the most pressing environmental challenges in the world today. In the Philippines, 18 million tons of waste are generated every year; the country is the third biggest source of solid waste in Southeast Asia and the third largest contributor to ocean plastic pollution worldwide.
Given this reality, Nestlé Philippines is committed to help shape a waste-free future with plastic waste as a top priority. Pursuing a leadership role, it is the first multinational fast-moving consumer goods company in the country to achieve plastic neutrality, recovering volumes of plastic equivalent to what it puts out in the market in its packaging. Nestlé PH has collected 48 million kilos of plastic waste from August 2020 to May 2022. It has also transitioned to the use of paper straws for its locally manufactured ready-to-drink products, becoming the first food and beverage manufacturer in the country to do so.
Alongside developing more sustainable packaging and delivery innovations, and increasing collection and recycling initiatives, Nestlé PH is focusing on driving new behaviors and understanding through SWM education. It has produced the country’s first SWM education modules to be rolled out in 20,000 public schools nationwide, with separate modules for parents, teens and communities.
Most recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), and Nestlé PH conducted the first leg of the No Time To Waste: Climate Change and SWM Talks attended by employees of local government units (LGUs) and government agencies, SWM officers, and community leaders. Attendance of close to 700 participants exceeded expectations, indicating increasing awareness and interest in environmental issues.
“Sa pamamagitan ng ating webinar ngayong umaga, layunin na makapagbahagi ng kaalaman at tools kagaya ng social media cards, presentations at mga posters upang epektibo nating maiparating sa ating komunidad kung paano ang tamang pagtatapon ng basura. Malaki ang papel ng mga komunidad sa pagtugon sa mga problemang ating kinakaharap,” said DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Atty. Analiza Teh. (Today’s webinar aims to provide LGUs additional knowledge and tools such as social media cards, presentations and posters that they can use to effectively educate their communities about proper solid waste management. These communities play a key role in finding a solution for our solid waste management problems.)
The DENR, NSWMC and Nestlé PH developed five modules for the webinar series: Module 1 – What does waste have to do with climate change and the environment; Module 2 – Climate change and R.A. 9003; Module 3 – Action planning for solid waste management; Module 4 – How to design a materials recovery facility and addressing limitations with alternative steps; and Module 5 – A citizen’s guide to proper waste management. The modules were discussed by Mr. Dave Albao, Executive Director of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, and Mr. Robert Guevara, Vice President of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Material Sustainability (PARMS).
NSWMC Vice Chairman Crispian Lao emphasized the key role of education and collaboration to achieve an efficient and effective SWM system: “We need to educate the youth and integrate it in the curriculum. More importantly, we need to educate the local government units from the cities and municipalities down to the barangays. Collaboration is equally important and here, we would like to thank Nestlé for developing these modules that can be a good tool for LGUs not only to learn but to implement a SWM system for their communities.”
Nestlé PH Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki said: “We recognize that partnering with other stakeholders is imperative. Our collaboration with the DENR and the NSWMC enables us to help empower consumers and communities to do their share in practicing effective solid waste management and in particular tackling plastic waste. We welcome our cooperation with local government units in extending education on these pressing environmental concerns.”
The No Time To Waste: Climate Change and SWM Talks will be presented across the country, with webinars in the Visayas and Mindanao to be conducted in the vernacular.