MANILA, PHILIPPINES, March 26, 2021 – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Nestlé Philippines have pledged to work together toward a waste-free future for Filipinos as outlined in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that includes building a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and educating communities on solid waste management in Caloocan City.
“As a country that prides itself in natural resources, it is imperative that we prioritize efforts that are centered on caring for our environment, not only for our families, but also for the benefit of generations to come. Our partnership with Nestlé Philippines strengthens the government’s resolve to implement programs that address proper solid waste management in order to reduce pollution for a cleaner, safer and healthier Philippines,” underscored Secretary Roy Cimatu of the DENR.
Under the MOA, Nestlé Philippines will sponsor the construction of the MRF in Barangay 164 in Caloocan City. This is in line with Republic Act. No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which mandates the establishment of the MRF to sort, segregate, compost and recycle wastes at the barangay level. For its part, the DENR, through its Environmental Management Bureau in the National Capital Region (EMB-NCR), will provide technical assistance needed by local government officials in the operation of the MRF.
The MRF, according to Secretary Cimatu, will enable Barangay Captain Mila Uy and her constituents to comply with government regulations for the proper disposal of wastes in their locality. They will be also able to monitor and manage the inflow and outflow of wastes more efficiently that would help decrease pollution in the country.
Educating local communities is key
“As the Kasambuhay ng Pamilyang Pilipino, Nestlé Philippines is committed to help shape a cleaner and healthier environment for Filipino families,” said Kais Marzouki, Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO. He added that Nestlé Philippines will co-develop modules with experts that are intended to guide local government units (LGUs) in implementing the provisions under RA 9003. Additional learning materials will also be provided to assist LGUs in educating the communities they serve on the importance of solid waste management.
According to the DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, conducting educational activities with various stakeholders is a key factor in the overall implementation and success of the program. “The Philippines generates millions of plastic wastes every year and a significant percentage ends up polluting our bodies of water, including the Tullahan-Tinajeros River System. When not properly managed, plastics break down into methane and ethylene, which are greenhouse gases that greatly contribute to the accelerated rate of climate change. It is, therefore, important that we help educate our communities to ensure that regular segregation of wastes is conducted among households and institutions as well as industrial and commercial establishments located within the barangay,” said Undersecretary Rebuelta-Teh.
Leading the journey to plastic neutrality
As the first multinational fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company in the country to achieve plastic neutrality in August 2020, Nestlé Philippines recognizes the impact of post-consumer plastic waste in the environment. Globally, the company has committed to making its packaging, including plastics, 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025. Additionally, the company commits to reduce a third of virgin plastic use within the same period.
In the Philippines, Nestlé is accelerating its initiatives across three focus areas: (1) developing the packaging for the future, through packaging and delivery innovation and plastic reduction; (2) helping to shape a waste-free future through increased collection and recycling; and (3) driving new behaviors and understanding through solid waste management education.
Marzouki said, “Tackling plastic waste is an urgent priority for us at Nestlé Philippines. We are collaborating with key stakeholders like the DENR that share our vision of a waste-free future for all.”