Mondelez Philippines joined hands with The Plastic Flamingo (The Plaf), a global social enterprise that seeks to reduce oceanic waste and marine pollutants, in the retrieval of plastic wastes to transform them into useful pieces that will benefit people and communities.
The collaboration involves the collection of an initial 40 metric tons of plastic wastes that will be cut-up into pieces and molded to form “eco-logs” or “eco-bricks”.
While the company strives to carve noteworthy innovations in making production processes responsive to the environment, it also took the tall task of co-creating a circular plastics economy, which is also the main agenda of The Plam.
“We have this new initiative with The Plastic Flamingo that started last year, where we had an agreement to collect just 1 metric ton of post-consumer plastic wastes. But we eventually decided to expand this in 2021 to 40 metric tons,” said Mondelez Philippines country manager for corporate and government affairs Joseph Fabul.
“You see, the company is committed to make a substantial investment in collection, segregation, and recycling of wastes. And part of that substantial investment will go to plan for this project,” said Fabul.
Under the agreement with The Plaf, all eco-logs and eco-bricks that will be produced out of the 40 tons plastic wastes would be donated to a local government unit of choice for disaster relief shelters.
“We have a responsibility that goes beyond finance. You know, we all inhabit the same planet. We can all become victims of post-consumer plastic wastes if we don’t regulate and if we don’t take care of it right now. So we’re very much aware of the impact of our company. And we always end we, we want to be able to make a positive contribution in this regard,” Fabul said.
The Plaf chose the Philippines as the first country to pilot the project, said The Plastic Flamingo founder and chief executive François Lesage.
“This project happened because of this great partnership with Mondelez. The Plaf is extremely happy to see that Mondelez, as a company, is willing to address this problem. They agreed to finance and help in the collection and recycling of 40 tons of plastic waste into eco-lumber this year. We will build shelters for them and with them, these shelters will be donated to an LGU,” he said.
The enterprise cited Mondelez as one of the frontrunners in adopting a system of recycling company operations, incorporating the principles of a circular economy from production to packaging and now plastics recovery and recycling.
The project forged ties with local communities to collect plastic wastes from subdivisions, villages, condominiums, hotels and residences.
In creating a circular economy, Lesage said that everyone should be involved in the solution, “not only the plastic producers, not only the consumers, not only the recyclers, not only the NGOs, everyone together.”
As it moves closer to complying with the principles of circular plastics economy, Mondelez put into motion a new packaging strategy to tackle the issue of plastics recyclability proactively along with three key interventions designed to close the gap.
The company started innovating the design of products’ packaging to be recycled by optimizing snack packs to avoid excess packaging with the goal of attaining 100-percent recyclable by 2025.
Included in the 2025 goal is to reach 5 percent in all packaging materials by investing in waste management and increasing post-consumer waste materials in plastic packaging. Another goal is to have recycling labelling on all of product packs through local and global plastics pacts and treaties to inform effective policy frameworks and printing guidance on packs.
“The issue of plastic packaging and plastic recycling has to start from somewhere. And I think it should start from the manufacturers, as a producer of plastic packaging and, which eventually becomes waste. We’re committed to making all our packaging recyclable by 2025. We have a commitment to make 100 percent of our food packaging recycling-ready by 2025. And to date, we’re already 94 percent compliant. We also intend to reduce the environmental impact of our company and its products by 10 percent by 2025. We’re also very much aware about the issues on social sustainability,” Fabul said.
Other packaging materials like paper and carton boards and some of the rigid plastics and less flexible plastic film are already designed to be recycled, he said.
“If we don’t make our packaging material recycled-ready then the company thrust or programs to recycle won’t be any good, because the packaging material has to be recyclable to begin with,” he said.
Mondelez Philippines Inc. is the company behind Tang powdered beverages, Eden cheese, mayonnaise and sandwich spread, Cheez Whiz spread, Oreo cookies, Tiger energy biscuits, belVita breakfast biscuits, Toblerone and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. The company employs about 450 people in the Philippines, with a manufacturing facility in Parañaque City.
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