April 25, 2021 Sunday
MANILA, 26 April 2021 — Sustainable enterprises and organizations have gathered in an online conversation to showcase their programs and initiatives to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics, as part of the Earth Day 2021 Webcast held via Facebook Live on April 22.
Hosted by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, the segment featured advocates and practitioners on waste reduction and recycling from the business sector and civil society including Laarnie Rivera-Cancio of Back to Basics Ecostore; Jamico Jamlang of The Bamboo Company; Gloria Estenzo Ramos of Oceana Philippines; Nanette Medved-Po of Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx); and Atty. Marc Cox of Coca-Cola Philippines.
“Nakita na natin in recent years na talagang mayroon nang shift in consumer attitude towards sustainability, marami na tayong na-impluwensiyahan at na-convince kung gaano ka-importante na maging sustainable ang ating behavior. More consumers are looking for sustainable products and packaging. We see also a lot of consumers that have become aware that single-use plastics are negative. So let’s talk about what businesses and CSOs are doing to catch up to that demand,” said Usec. Castelo.
“Back to Basics Ecostore is a startup company… We refill your basic household essentials (detergent, condiments, etc.) This started from our own practice, as one of our frustrations was going to the grocery without so much choice… We looked for suppliers and then arranged with them wherein we can return or swap the containers we buy in bulk, and then refill the customers’ containers,” said Ms. Rivera-Cancio.
“The Bamboo Company creates alternatives for plastic items… We’re not just solving the problem of plastic pollution, but we’re also trying to solve the issue of carbon emissions. The raw material of plastic is oil, which produces more carbon in the atmosphere and affects the climate. Bamboo is a good material, as an alternative, because whenever you plant it, it absorbs carbon better, which also help out in terms of climate change,” said Mr. Jamlang.
“Oceana is the only international non-government organization focused solely on marine conservation. We are in 12 different countries all over the world, and Oceana in the Philippines was opened in 2014. Our foremost goal in the country is the restoration of fisheries abundance and we have very specific, time-bound campaigns. We work closely with the government in helping our agencies to perform their mandates and one of these is the campaign to ban single-use plastics,” said Atty. Ramos.
“People see that PCEx is a credit exchange so we look at offsets. But when we do talk to companies, we don’t spend too much time talking to the consumers, but we talk to the businesses because we feel that is a place where we can make the greatest impact, because these are the large producers of plastic packaging and plastic products,” said Ms. Medved-Po.
“Although the Coca-Cola business is made up of PET (or polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and returnable glass bottles, interestingly, 50% or a little over half of the business is still in returnable glass bottles. It’s still those glass bottles that we see in sari-sari stores when we buy the drinks, and when returned there’s a deposit. For our PET bottles and aluminum can products, all of those are using recyclable packaging materials,” said Atty. Cox.
The Earth Day 2021 Webcast, anchored on the national theme, PINASiglang Mundo, underscored the need to address the global climate crisis, and backed the government’s thrust of highlighting the importance of urgently reducing plastic pollution and raising awareness on its negative effects on public health and the environment.
The webcast was organized by the Climate Change Commission, Department of Finance, Department of Education, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, and The Climate Reality Project Philippines, in collaboration with the Break Free from Plastic Philippines Coalition, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Local Government Academy, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, and British Embassy Manila, with support from the League of Cities of the Philippines, the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc., and Odistry.
The webcast was also streamed through the Facebook Page of GMA Network and CNN Philippines, also the official media partners.
Watch the replay of the eight-hour webcast through this link: https://facebook.com/CCCPhl/videos/475342813711718/.