According to various reports, the Philippines is one of the largest sources of plastic waste leaking into the oceans. With the global issue of a growing population relying on limited resources, there is an increasing need to find new ways to sustain the planet.
Rising to the challenge of significantly reducing the volume of plastic waste requires collaboration and partnerships. Republic Cement and Unilever, both advocates of sustainable development, have partnered to pilot a sustainability program on waste management in Batangas.
Unilever Philippines’ sachet recovery program Surf Misis Walastik is a flagship initiative for collection, wherein they incentivize participants to turn over their flexible plastics in exchange for Unilever products—an efficient way of addressing post-consumer waste. In 2018 alone, they have been able to collect sachets equivalent to 10,000 plastic school chairs that were donated to public schools through a partner NGO.
Patterned after Misis Walastik, Republic Cement and Unilever Philippines conducted an Information-Education Campaign on sachet recovery and environmental protection in four elementary schools in communities in Taysan, Batangas. Attended by students, teachers, and Parent Teacher Association officers, the congregation learned about the impact of plastic waste and the opportunity to become part of the solution. The collection from the program will be co-processed in Republic Cement’s Batangas Plant.
“Unilever’s programs, including this school-based program with Republic Cement, are grounded on partnership and collaboration of individuals, communities, and companies; and founded on a collective belief that what is good for the planet is good for all,” said Ed Sunico, Vice President for Sustainable Business and Communications of Unilever Philippines.
Republic Cement’s pilot communities were able to collect over 315 kilograms from participating schools for over a month since the program started. Mapulo Elementary School topped collection at nearly 50 kilograms, while one of its students brought the heaviest load of plastic waste at 5.2 kilograms.
“We’re happy to be partnering with Unilever and our communities to recover plastic waste that would otherwise pollute our environment. This initiative brings us a step closer to our collective vision of a greener, stronger Republic,” said Nabil Francis, President of Republic Cement Services, Inc.