Norzagaray, Bulacan – Republic Cement, a leading construction solutions provider in the country, recently widened its partnership with Nestlé Philippines, committing to expand plastic waste reduction in the country through their co-processing initiative.
“Republic Cement is happy to be working with Nestlé in their push to becoming plastic-neutral. This partnership likewise allows us to do more as we promote the use of alternative fuel to further embed sustainability in our operations,” said Republic Cement President and CEO Nabil Francis.
Initiated in 2019, the 2020 Republic Cement – Nestlé Philippines expanded agreement aims to further reduce plastic waste in the country through the co-processing of soft plastic waste in cement kilns.
“Increasing the amount of post-consumer plastic waste to be co-processed is a significant point in our expanded 2020 agreement. Through this partnership, Republic aims to play its part in the various national programs that address environmental concerns, such as plastic waste,” said Francis.
In 2018, Nestlé announced its global commitment to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé envisions a waste-free future in which none of its packaging, particularly plastic, ends up in landfills, the oceans, or as litter.
“We continue to intensify our efforts to tackle plastic wastes, to expand our reach, and we are thankful to Republic Cement for helping us do just that,” said Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki. “Our new agreement is a welcome step in our common journey, and specifically will help us collect considerably more plastics than we did last year.”
Republic Cement is licensed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to utilize and dispose of qualified waste streams through cement kiln co-processing. Co-processing is a superior waste management method by which waste materials are processed at a very high temperature. This breaks down complex materials into simpler compounds and the energy or mineral content of wastes are completely recovered and utilized in the process of producing cement. Emissions from the process are filtered and monitored in compliance with DENR standards.
Since energy and minerals from waste are almost completely used up during the process, co-processing is more advantageous compared to land filling and physical treatment as it diverts wastes from waterways and oceans.
“Co-processing as a method of waste material disposal is practiced in other parts of the world. It is internationally accepted and authorized by local environmental laws and regulations and has been part of our operations for close to twenty years,” said Francis.
Republic Cement has mastered the art of alternative fuels for almost two decades at its five integrated cement plants across the country. Backed by its 60 years manufacturing expertise, Republic Cement started cement co-processing in the early 2000s with biomass wastes such as rice husk and woodchips. Since 2012, it has handled more complicated hazardous wastes from industrial sources.
With Republic Cement’s co-processing method, Nestle Philippines is better aligned with its intent to divert plastic wastes from landfills, and prevent their entry into waterways and oceans.
“In accelerating the search for solutions to the plastics problem, it is necessary, while we look for innovative packaging solutions, that we take immediate action to divert waste away from landfills and stop plastic waste from entering waterways and oceans. As we seek to achieve plastic neutrality, we aim to recover at least the equivalent of the quantity of plastic packaging we generate,” said Marzouki.
“With strengthened partnerships with organizations in the country like Nestlé Philippines, Republic Cement hopes to impact more communities and contribute to building a greener, stronger Republic,” said Francis.