TAGUIG CITY – This past September 2020, Nestlé Philippines Inc. recently announced that it had achieved plastic neutrality for the second month in a row as part of their goal for greener and more sustainable operations towards a waste-free future.
Nestlé Philippines is the first 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, thus making us plastic neutral,” Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki said. In August alone, the company was able to recover 2,400 metric tons of plastic waste. This achievement comes less than a year after signing a landmark agreement with Republic Cement last December 2019.
Republic Cement has offered waste co-processing since the early 2000s to both the private and public sector. Co-processing is a method employed by cement manufacturers around the world that uses alternative fuels in manufacturing cement. It is the recovery of the energy and mineral content of waste materials that serve as a substitute fuels or alternative raw materials to produce cement in a single operation. This means that instead of using finite fossil fuels, Republic Cement is able to use qualified plastics in its place, among other alternative fuels such as rice husk, saw dust, and refuse-derived fuel. The method processes waste materials such as plastics at 1450°C 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 still end up in landfills. Through co-processing the plastic alternative fuels are completely destroyed while any byproducts are completely integrated into the final product.
“As long as it is deemed acceptable for co-processing and acceptable under the guidelines issued by the 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,” shared ecoloop Director Angela Edralin-Valencia.
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 to emission limits and other regulatory requirements.
Through co-processing, Nestle has taken a significant step towards ensuring that post-consumer plastic waste, such as sachets and 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. As one of the many steps we are taking to reduce our plastic footprint, we are committed to stay the course towards a waste-free future. We look forward to the months to come and the continuation of our partnership as Republic assists Nestlé Philippines in maintaining neutrality every month moving forward,” shared Mr. Marzouki.
“Republic Cement is proud to have played a key role in helping Nestlé Philippines in achieving plastic neutrality. With more Filipino companies and LGUs embracing the plastic-neutrality concept, we are confident that we will continue to make strides for a greener and stronger Republic,” said Republic Cement CEO Nabil Francis.
To date, Republic Cement has also established partnerships with local government units 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.
If your local government, organization, or company is interested in becoming Plastic Neutral, email email@example.com for more information.