30 January 2019, General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite/Quezon City. The unrelenting production, consumption and disposal of single-use plastics pose a major hindrance in community efforts to attain the zero waste goal, the Cavite Green Coalition and the EcoWaste Coalition jointly pointed out.
The groups dared companies making and using single-use plastics to take responsibility for the endless garbage woes afflicting communities, including the town of General Mariano Alvarez (GMA), site of the groups’ zero waste project in partnership with the municipal government.
The groups issued the challenge as the nation concludes tomorrow the observance of the annual “Zero Waste Month” as per Presidential Proclamation No. 760, Series of 2014.
“Our efforts to educate the grassroots and assist them in drawing up and implementing barangay-level action plans are helpful but not enough to achieve the desired zero waste resource management,” stated Ochie Tolentino, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“A key stumbling block that we always have to deal with is the volume of residual plastic waste, especially plastic bags, sachets and other single-use plastics, piling up at the barangay and municipal materials recovery facilities or MRFs,” she pointed out.
“Our experience is telling us that companies should assume responsibility for the plastic waste pollution besetting communities, be accountable, and not simply pass the burden to the local government and the people,” she said.
A brand audit carried out by the Cavite Green Coalition and the EcoWaste Coalition in cooperation with GMA Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer and residents of Barangay Bernardo Pulido showed that 82 manufacturers are contributing to branded pollution.
Out of the approximately 29 kilos of mixed plastic waste collected from 3,405 households in the barangay, a total of 4,099 pieces of identifiable branded waste were collected. Additionally, over 100 pieces of branded trash with indistinguishable brands were also gathered.
The groups revealed that among the top branded plastic waste materials were from: 1. Nestle (509); 2. Universal Robina Corporation (394); 3. Unilever (327); 4. PT Torabika Eka Semesta (306); 5. Monde M.Y. San Corp (282); 6. Procter and Gamble Phil. Inc. (235); 7. Liwayway Marketing Corp (196); 8. Mighty and Strong Foods (174); 9. Rebisco Biscuit Corp (114); and 10. Colgate-Palmolive Phil. Inc (99).
Together, these 10 manufacturers comprise 65% of the total identifiable branded plastic wastes collected out of 82 manufacturers listed in the brand audit.
“To drastically reduce the waste that our homes and communities generate, we need companies to switch from single-use, throw-away packaging to alternative product delivery systems,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We hope companies, especially the top companies contributing to branded pollution, will heed our plea for plastic use and waste reduction, and move away from wasteful disposable product packaging,” she added.
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