In celebration of World Oceans Day, Coca-Cola Philippines and Plastic Bank® announced that in 2022, they will together help to collect 10 million post-consumer PET plastic bottles to address and solve the global packaging waste issue while improving the lives of partner collectors and junk shops enrolled in the Plastic Bank Ecosystem Impact Program. This is double their target in 2021, when 5 million used PET bottles were successfully recycled and diverted from landfills and oceans.
Through the Ecosystem Impact Week event, which will run from June 8 to 12, 2022 at Robinsons Place General Trias, Coca-Cola Philippines, Plastic Bank® and the local government of General Trias, Cavite, aim to educate more Filipinos on the value of collecting and recycling recyclable plastics. A collection booth has been set up for consumers visiting the mall, where they can bring clean and used recyclable plastic bottles and help give these a second life.
“At Coca-Cola, we recognize that we have a big role to play in helping solve the plastic waste problem,” said Tony del Rosario, President of Coca-Cola Philippines and Vice President for East Franchise Operations of Coca-Cola ASEAN and South Pacific.
“With partners like Plastic Bank, the government, non-government organizations, civil society, industry and private sectors, we know that a World Without Waste with measurable, positive impact is possible.” Del Rosario added.
Plastic Bank is a social enterprise that builds collection and recycling ecosystems in coastal communities by working directly with individuals in the informal waste sector and micro and small enterprises like junk shops. Through the Plastic Bank Ecosystem, collector partners are given access to training, tools and equipment for efficient waste collection, and a source of livelihood. The program also connects collector partners to the market (Material Recovery Facilities or junk shop branches) that buys their collections to ensure the sustainability of the program.
Empowering communities one individual at a time
In January of 2022, Jenny Arcilla, owner of Jecka Junkshop, turned her business into a Plastic Bank Partner Branch. Through the partnership, her shop was refurbished and given the proper equipment, ensuring safe working conditions for her all-female staff. After receiving training, they also learned how to use the Plastic Bank App, which assists shop owners in tracking collections and sharing their waste collection impact online.
“Sa tulong ng Coca-Cola at Plastic Bank, na-upgrade ko ang negosyong simulan namin ng aking asawa. Nakaka-proud din na hindi lang pamilya ko ang aking natutulungan, pati na rin ang mga kababaihan sa aming komunidad,” said Arcilla.
Around the same time in January, Vicky Advincula (Nanay Vicky) also began working as a collector in General Trias. While currently employed as a street sweeper, Nanay Vicky also collects and cleans recyclable plastics that are sold to junk shops.
“Malaking tulong sa aming mga waste collector at sa aming barangay ang programang ito, dahil dito marami sa amin ang natutong bigyan ng importansya ang pag-recycle ng PET bottles. Nabibigyan din kami ng extra income dahil sa bawat makolektang plastic nakakakuha kami ng perang pandagdag sa araw-araw naming gastusin,” said Nanay Vicky.
“Plastic Bank works with about 500 recycling communities around the world and over 20,000 community members, most of whom are like Jenny and Nanay Vicky. By supporting collection communities in coastal areas, we effectively prevent plastic from reaching the oceans. Our partnership with Coca-Cola Philippines has helped us reach critical scale in just two years—from the volume of plastic we collect to the number of lives we directly impact,” said Gidget Velez, Chief Country Development Officer of Plastic Bank PH, says of Coca-Cola as a partner and as an enabler of sustainability programs.
Creating a value chain for recycling
In 2018, The Coca-Cola Company announced its global goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can it sells by 2030 to achieve its vision of a World Without Waste. The beverage company strategically helps to build a circular economy through its three fundamental global goals:
- Design – make its packaging 100% recyclable globally by 2025, and use at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030;
- Collect – collect and recycle every bottle and can that they sell by 2030;
- Partner – work with like-minded institutions to support a healthy, debris-free environment.
Coca-Cola Philippines has since invested in community programs and critical infrastructure to make the recycling value chain a reality. PETValue, the first bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in the Philippines located at General Trias, is expected to process 30,000 metric tons of plastic PET bottles and produce around 16,000 metric tons of recycled PET resins every year. The facility works under a closed-loop recycling system, processing post-consumer plastic bottles and turning these into recycled bottles, allowing them to reenter the supply chain.
“At Coca-Cola, we realize that we cannot achieve our World Without Waste goals alone. As we look forward to the full operations this year of PETValue, we will need the collaboration and support of individuals and communities as we together help to create a circular economy for PET plastic in the Philippines, starting here in General Trias City,” said Del Rosario.
The company also said that the PETValue facility once operational will generate more than 200 local jobs that will support the livelihood of individuals within the waste value chain. Coca-Cola Philippines continues to work towards supporting strategic collection partners at the institutional and community levels across the country in a bid to adequately supply the plant with recyclable material for recycling.
Participate in the Ecosystem Impact Week by bringing clean plastic recyclables to Robinsons Place General Trias from June 8 to 12, 2022.