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Toward plastic neutrality

Republic Cement partnership
Nestlé and Republic Cement Partner Towards Plastic Neutrality

Pursuing its goal to achieve plastic neutrality at the earliest possible time, Nestlé Philippines, Inc. recently signed a new agreement with Republic Cement for the collection and co-processing of soft plastic wastes in the latter’s cement kilns, significantly expanding an initial agreement in 2019.

Plastic neutrality involves recovering post-consumer plastics equal to the quantity of plastic packaging used for products sold by companies. Therefore, Nestlé Philippines will collect plastic wastes equivalent to the volume it uses in its product packaging to achieve plastic neutrality.

The 2020 agreement, signed by Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki and Republic Cement Director Nabil Francis, aims to increase the amount of post-consumer plastic wastes to be collected and co-processed during the year.

As part of a long-term, priority program to address soft plastics in the country’s waste streams, Nestlé Philippines is engaged in collection and recycling efforts in partnership with other key stakeholders to recover plastics waste in significant amounts.

Under the agreement with Republic Cement, Nestlé seeks to collect post-consumer plastic wastes for cement kiln co-processing, a method of waste material disposal which is internationally accepted and authorized by local environmental laws and regulations.

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, a process used to create cement which entails taking raw materials such as calcium carbonate and silica, and feeding them into a kiln along with fuel. These materials are burned at such a high temperature that any complex materials are broken into simpler compounds. The end result is cement. Any emissions during the process are filtered and monitored by the minute to comply with DENR standards.

Cement kiln co-processing in a country like the Philippines is more advantageous compared to land filling and physical treatment, since energy and minerals from waste are almost completely used up.

As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé’s broader vision is to achieve a waste-free future in which none of its packaging, particularly plastic, ends up in landfills, the oceans, or as litter. In April 2018, Nestlé announced its global commitment to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

“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 Mr. 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.”

For his part, Mr. Francis said, “Republic Cement is proud to be working with Nestlé on their push to becoming plastic neutral. These partnerships challenge us to do more as we continuously advocate for the use of more alternative fuel in order to truly embody sustainability in our operations.”

Republic Cement, with five plants and one grinding station in the Philippines backed by more than 60 years of cement manufacturing experience, has also entered into co-processing partnerships with the following local government units: Manila; Paete and Liliw in Laguna; Norzagaray, San Jose del Monte and Valenzuela in Bulacan, and Teresa in Rizal.

"In accelerating the search for solutions to the plastics problem, it is necessary, while we look for innovative packaging solutions, to take immediate action to divert waste away from landfills and stop plastic waste from entering waterways and oceans. It is in this spirit that we at Nestlé Philippines are working to achieve plastic neutrality as soon as possible, in close cooperation with our partners,” said Mr. Marzouki.