The Reimagine Recycling program, an initiative of Save Philippine Seas and Coca-Cola Philippines, proudly announces five community-based programs that have received up to PHP 500,000 of grant funding.
Now in its fifth year, Reimagine Recycling continues to support groups that champion circular economy solutions, address solid waste management, and enhance the well-being of the informal waste sector. This year, the initiative also focused on projects preventing waste leakage in riverine and marine ecosystems and grassroots initiatives.
Reimagine Recycling provides essential reinforcement through capacity-building workshops on stakeholder management and communications, mentoring, and financial grants.
“We have seen how transformative Reimagine Recycling has been for our past grantees. The funding helps them get to the next level in terms of scale and scope, and the networks of Save Philippine Seas and Coca-Cola Philippines also help create connections with other stakeholders in the waste value chain,” shared Anna Oposa, Executive Director of Save Philippine Seas.
Supporting sustainable initiatives
Following a competitive application process that opened in October 2023, the following projects were selected for grant funding from Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, which can help expand and build a stronger foundation for their respective initiatives:
- RezBin is an initiative by siblings with backgrounds in the startup industry. Realizing that poor disposal habits, aside from the lack of recycling facilities, are also the main causes of plastic waste issues in the Philippines, the project aims to make plastic disposal easy and enjoyable, fostering positive and sustainable habits among Filipinos.
- THREADS by PAMMÉ is a training program for informal trash collectors focused on plastic waste recycling. PAMMÉ repurposes plastic waste into sustainable fashion products, contributes to recycling markets, and supports informal livelihoods.
- Love for Green Universe addresses inadequate access to fresh food in urban areas worsened by environmental concerns faced by farmers. The project empowers farmers by repurposing PET bottles as durable UV sheets for crop protection, providing a sustainable alternative to commercially available sheets susceptible to adverse weather conditions.
- After conducting surveys in the coastal barangays of Naawan, Misamis Oriental, COAST discovered community concerns such as beach plastic litter, household plastic management, and reliance on single-use plastics. COAST takes action through initiatives like regular coastal clean-ups, public forums, and strategic partnerships to raise awareness, empower communities, and lay the foundation for sustainable practices.
- Upstyle was founded to transform waste into opportunities for environmental and societal betterment, driven by the escalating waste crisis and economic challenges in certain communities. Their goal is to teach upcycling as a livelihood project, working with dedicated volunteers to create products from waste materials and imparting this skill to communities, providing a sustainable means of earning a living.
Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony Del Rosario expressed gratitude for the ongoing collaboration with Save Philippine Seas in promoting marine conservation. He commended all teams participating in Reimagine Recycling Year 5, saying “Each proposal is truly promising, with a significant impact on the environment and our communities. It was inspiring to connect with brilliant young minds driving change in nation-building through innovative circular economy initiatives.”
Cecile Alcantara, President of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, also affirmed the foundation’s commitment to supporting innovations that empower communities and inspire Filipinos to initiate their waste solution programs. “As advocates for positive change, we firmly believe in the transformative power of collaboration and its ability to create a lasting impact in our communities,” Alcantara said.
The Foundation reports that past winners of Reimagine Recycling continue to scale up, expand, and benefit underprivileged communities.
- Alon and Araw, which started as a free surfboard borrowing program for local children in exchange for regular participation in weekly beach clean-ups, now work with over 40 underprivileged fisherfolk families vulnerable to threats of climate change. They organize sustainability-related activities for more than 70 children between 5 to 18 years old, whom they call ocean defenders.
- According to the Philippine Textile Research Institute, the country generates the equivalent of 303 Olympic-size pools of textile waste annually. To help address this problem, Barrio Studios devised an idea to transform textile waste into higher-value goods. Through their efforts, they champion textile recycling in the country, help businesses become more sustainable, and create more green jobs for women.
- Smart Recycle PH helps users connect with verified collection partners for their recyclable materials and get to know and shop for sustainable products and services. They assist consumers in earning Smart Recycle Points and converting them into trees with RAFI One to Tree. The initiative has recovered more than 350,000 kilograms of recyclables, received 1,000 tree pledges, and increased its partners to 60.
In 2018, The Coca-Cola Company announced its global ambition to support a circular economy to help eliminate waste through the continual use of packaging as a valuable resource. In addition to the Reimagine Recycling program, Coca-Cola Philippines is accelerating more waste management solutions through the implementation of “May Ikabobote Pa”, its consumer engagement initiative that aims to inform and engage consumers about the actions they can take to recycle their empty plastic bottles.
For more information about Reimagine Recycling, visit savephilippineseas.org. You may also read more about Coca-Cola Philippines’ initiatives at coca-cola.com/ph/en/sustainability.