Nestlé Philippines Inc. achieved plastic neutrality for two months in a row, in August and September, in pursuit of greener and more sustainable operations. The company is the first fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) multinational in the country to achieve plastic neutrality.
“As an urgent initiative, Nestlé Philippines has succeeded in collecting and diverting from landfills and oceans the amount of plastic equivalent to what we generated from our packaging last August and September, making us plastic neutral,” said Kais Marzouki, Nestlé Philippines chairman and chief executive officer (CEo).
The food and beverage manufacturer recovered 4,763 metric tons of plastic waste in those two months. This achievement comes less than a year after signing a landmark co-processing agreement with Republic Cement last December 2019.
Republic Cement has offered waste co-processing since the early 2000s to both the private and the public sectors. Co-processing is a method employed by cement manufacturers around the world that uses alternative fuels in manufacturing cement. It involves the recovery of the energy and mineral content of waste materials that serve as substitute fuel and alternative raw materials to produce cement in a single operation. Through this Republic Cement is able to use qualified plastics in place of fossil fuels, among other alternative fuels such as rice husk, saw dust and refuse-derived fuel.
The method processes waste materials such as plastics at 1,450 degrees Celsius in a kiln chamber, recovering from them thermal and mineral properties that provide the energy needed to produce cement. Co-processing is different from incineration, which processes waste at a much lower temperature and still results in emissions such as waste water and ashes that end up in landfills. Through co-processing, plastic waste as alternative fuel is completely destroyed while any byproducts are integrated into the final product.
“As long as it is deemed acceptable for co-processing and acceptable under the guidelines issued by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) through DAO 2010-6, co-processing should be prioritized over other disposal methods that are more harmful to the environment in the long run,” said Angela Edralin-Valencia, director of Ecoloop, the alternative fuels and co-processing arm of Republic Cement.
Republic Cement plants are fully equipped with state-of-the-art continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS). These CEMS are regularly calibrated and maintained, and are monitored by the Environmental Management Bureau (DENR–EMB) to ensure strict compliance with emission limits and other regulatory requirements.
Through co-processing, Nestlé has made a significant move toward ensuring that post-consumer plastic waste, such as sachets and other product packaging, do not end up in landfills or oceans. “We would like to sincerely thank Republic Cement for the big role that they have played in achieving this milestone. It is one of the many steps we are taking to reduce our plastic footprint. We are committed to stay the course toward a waste-free future. We look forward to the continuation of our partnership as Republic assists Nestlé Philippines in maintaining neutrality every month moving forward,” said Marzouki.
“Republic Cement is proud to have played a key role in helping Nestlé Philippines in achieving plastic neutrality. With more Filipino companies and local government units (LGUs) embracing the plastic-neutrality concept, we are confident that we will continue to make strides for a greener and stronger Republic,” said Nabil Francis, Republic Cement CEO.
To date, Republic Cement has also established partnerships with LGUs including the City of Manila; Teresa in Rizal; Lipa City and Taysan in Batangas; Bustos, Malolos, Meycauayan, Norzagaray and San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan; Liliw, Paete and Rizal in Laguna; and Floridablanca, Guagua, Lubao, Mabalacat, Mexico, San Fernando and Sasmuan in Pampanga.