Coca-Cola Philippines, the Parañaque City government, and the National Solid Waste Management Commission recently celebrated the 18th year of the enactment of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000―a law that enforces the proper management of waste at the barangay level.
The celebration, aptly themed “National Zero Waste Month: We and Alternative Technologies, Partnering for Proper Waste Management,” gathered stakeholders, including civic and private sectors, who are at the frontlines of tackling the country’s waste problems.
Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivares, and environmental and solid waste management officers from Malabon, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pasay, Valenzuela, Las Piñas, and San Juan led the celebration.
“This is an important milestone for all of us who are working towards the realization of a World Without Waste. The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 introduced waste management long before anyone thought it was needed,” said Winn Everhart, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.
“Today, as there is more consciousness about the impact of waste, Coca-Cola is at the forefront of finding solutions, both at the community and company levels, to effectively reduce waste and complete the sequence of recycling the resources and turning them into entirely new materials that we can use,” he added.
The essence of the zero-waste lifestyle is much more than just reducing the use of packaging products – it is being able to breathe new life to the materials and resources that have already served their original purpose.
In 2018, Coca-Cola launched its most ambitious goal to date – to collect each and every bottle and can that they produce by 2030, a feat that is only possible with the cooperation and participation of various stakeholders and every household.
Starting with partnerships with LGUs, the beverage brand has rolled out activations in various regional festivities, including Sinulog, Dinagyang, the Davao Regional Athletic Meet, and the Araw ng Dabaw, that help in the collection and recycling of recyclable materials.
Together with other members of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability, Coca-Cola is investing in a multi-pronged program that includes ainformation and education campaigns, and the establishment of a materials recovery facility that will service the needs of Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces.
In the long run, the Company hopes to strengthen and uplift the recycling system in the Philippines – from the collection at the household and community levels, to the recycling of these materials, and innovations in packaging at the industry level.
“We welcome this partnership of working with various organizations to find a solution on how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. This task cannot be done by the government alone – we need to work hand-in-hand with everyone, whether it is a homeowner or a consumer brand,” said Bernie Amurao, head of the Parañaque City Environment and Natural Resources Office.
The beverage brand introduced its 2030 global vision of a World Without Waste in January 2018.
It was a vision where every bottle and can produced will be collected, partnerships with relevant private organizations, cause-oriented groups, and communities will be forged, and new packaging designs will be developed with components 100 percent recyclable and using the least amount of plastic.
During the event, the cities of Pasig, Quezon, and Valenzuela were recognized and awarded for having outstanding scores from the Department of Interior and Local Government’s environmental compliance audit.
Select public elementary and high schools were also awarded for their school-based environmental programs.
The National Zero Waste Month celebration, also known as Presidential Proclamation No. 760 of 2014, kicked-off 2019 to full throttle – reminding communities of the need to be mindful about the waste that they produce.
The celebration aims to promote a zero-waste society wherein things are designed, used, and recovered so they can safely go back to the environment or to the system and be used again.
The strong alliance shown by the national and local government agencies, NGOs, and private companies on the fifth year of celebrating National Zero Waste Month and the 18th anniversary of RA 9003 in Parañaque is a testament to the strong commitment of everyone in making the Philippines a partner in achieving a World Without Waste.