While the Philippines continues to battle with unprecedented times, one of the biggest concerns in the country is still the ongoing waste problem, with 20 percent of plastic waste estimated to end up in the ocean.
Recognizing the waste problem and their role in being part of the solution, Coca Cola Philippines ensures that its packaging waste is properly collected instead of ending up in the ocean.
While this cannot be achieved alone, Coca-Cola continues to forge partnerships with like-minded organizations to realize its goal under their World Without Waste vision: to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can they sell by 2030.
One of their newest partners is Plastic Bank. a social enterprise that is helping the world stop ocean plastic while improving the lives of collector communities. Plastic Bank builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities and reprocesses the materials for reintroduction into the global manufacturing supply chain.
Coca-Cola is partnering with Plastic Bank to collect 100,000 kilograms of ocean bound plastic over the next year in General Trias, Cavite, where Coca-Cola’s pioneering state-of-the-art food grade recycling facility (rPET) will soon be located. The rPET facility will help ensure that used PET plastic bottles—packaging that is 100% recyclable, and therefore not “single-use”—will be given new life and function as they are collected, processed, and used again and again within a circular economy.
Plastic Bank collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries and cooking fuel. Health insurance, digital payment solutions and school tuition will also be made available in the near future. The collected material is then reborn as Social Plastic which can be easily reintegrated into products and packaging as part of a closed-loop supply chain
“Addressing the pressing issue of plastic waste is a critical concern that should involve collaborative efforts and an innovative set of responses,” says Jonah de Lumen-Pernia, PH Public Affairs and Sustainability Director of Coca-Cola Philippines. “What attracted us to Plastic Bank is how similar it is to our World Without Waste vision. It advocates for an inclusive and circular plastic economy that can meaningfully boost the livelihood of marginalized communities.”
“Based on the positive results from communities where we’ve implemented our recycling ecosystems, we believe that Plastic Bank presents a viable solution to the plastic waste problem,” says Ma. Angeles “Gidget” Velez, Global Director for Country Development and PH Country Manager of Plastic Bank Philippines.