Trash-to-cash project to clean up Manila Bay

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    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said its project with Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx) that incentivizes the collection of used plastic sachets ending up in Manila Bay is expected to further help in the latter’s clean-up.

    The DENR said the Aling Tindera program which will be implemented with the non-profit plastic offset organization will incentivize fishermen and their families to collect plastic waste around Manila Bay and sell them in exchange for cash at collection points stationed in coastal areas.

    Sari-sari stores owned by women will collect the plastics and sell them to sustainability-conscious companies through the PCEx.

    “This residual waste recovery program is very timely as it augments government efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay amid the pandemic where the use of sachets and other plastic packaging has become more rampant,” said Benny Antiporda, DENR undersecretary for solid waste management and local government units concerns.

    Antiporda said in a statement sari-sari stores were selected as collection points and the go-to place of most Filipinos for food and other essentials.

    “Unfortunately, since these products come in small packages like sachet, more plastic trash is generated by the community which, if not properly disposed of, would find their way into our waterways,” Antiporda said.

    Meanwhile, DENR-National Capital Region executive director Jacqueline Caancan, said plastic waste, particularly the post-consumer plastic packaging, constitutes a big part of the growing volume of solid waste in the cities.

    “The program was designed to promote qualified sari-sari stores as waste-to-cash collection centers at the barangay level. We are not only systematizing the recovery of post-consumer plastic wastes such as empty sachets and other single-use plastic packaging from the waste stream, we will also be incentivizing the store owners and also their suki for turning in their plastic wastes instead of just throwing them away,” Caancan said.