Six waste solutions initiatives will receive a total of P1.8-million grant funding from the Reimagine Recycling Year 3: Supporting Solutions to Waste Pollution program of Coca-Cola Philippines and Save Philippines Seas.
Reimagine Recycling is an annual program that aims to help scale or advance emerging circular economy initiatives that help address the plastic waste crisis and provide training in addressing issues on waste segregation, recycling/upcycling, improving the welfare of the informal waste sector and mainstreaming gender in waste management. Now in its third year, the program sought waste solution program proposals to support and fund through the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, the company’s social investment arm in the Philippines. Since the call for applications was opened in July 2021, a total of 31 applications were screened. Out of this number, 10 were shortlisted to present their waste solutions.
Two of the 10 initiatives were chosen to receive P500,000 each, and four more will be granted a consolation prize of P200,000 each to support their projects.
“At Coca-Cola, we recognize our responsibility to help solve the global plastic waste problem. In 2018, our company launched an ambitious global sustainable packaging initiative called World Without Waste. But we also know that global challenges like plastic waste are far too great for any single government, company or industry to solve. Partnerships are more critical than ever. In the Philippines, we continue to be very supportive of partnerships and collaborations like Reimagine Recycling that empower innovative and sustainable waste management solutions that can already be implemented and create impact in the communities where they will be introduced,” said Tony del Rosario, President of Coca-Cola Philippines and VP for Coca-Cola Franchise Operations for ASEAN & South Pacific – East Region.
In 2018, The Coca-Cola Company, globally, pledged to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can they sell by 2030, make its packaging recyclable by 2025, and use at least 50% recycled materials in its bottles by 2030. In the Philippines, Coca-Cola is also set to open PETValue, a pioneering bottle-to-bottle recycling facility, in early 2022 through a joint venture between Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI) and Indorama Ventures.
The winners who will now be given the opportunity to expand their waste solutions initiatives include #BawasBasura by Sari-cycling and Communal Trash to Cash Bins by Republik Junk, which both had the goal of making waste segregation easier, more convenient, and more accessible to residents in their respective cities. Each will receive P500,000 to scale their existing waste solutions.
After Pasig River was named one of the most polluted waterways in June 2021 in a study conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sari-cycling realized that they needed to accelerate their efforts to institutionalize waste collection in low-income communities along the 25.2-kilometer river. Through their #BawasBasura initiative, Sari-cycling also created more livelihood opportunities for women through plastic and textile recycling.
As a commitment to their tagline, “the modern mangangalakal,” Republik Junk combined incentivized recycling and cash payout with their Communal Trash to Cash Bins initiative, a broad network of recyclable waste-recovery drop-off points at the 10 most populous barangays in Cagayan de Oro City.
Meanwhile, Dewaste Solutions, Isla Refills, JuanBag, and UGYON: Basura Mo, Manggad Ko will each receive P200,000 to further improve and expand their waste management models. Dewaste Solutions aims to develop new and improve existing materials recovery facilities (MRFs) by employing a unique model that builds on private franchising and construction of MRFs, thus allowing subdivisions and communities in Bacoor City, Cavite to run efficient facilities.
Recognizing the business opportunity to provide small-medium sari-sari stores, groceries, eateries and other similar establishments in Bantayan Island, Cebu easy access to homecare goods while also ensuring that such access does not harm the environment, Isla Refills proposed a waste management solution that aims to reduce and divert sachet waste through a direct-selling model of refillable goods.
JuanBag, on the other hand, proposed a solution to help manage the growing plastic packaging waste from purchases through e-commerce. JuanBag seeks to introduce returnable, durable and reusable packaging made from post-consumer plastics to online shops in Metro Manila, and, in the process, generate jobs for those who will create the bags.
Finally, UGYON: Basura Mo, Manggad Ko is a school-based initiative in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental that aims to increase plastic recycling and upcycling rates by creating household and architectural products from collected plastics crafted by women in communities around the school.
“We will continue to support more innovations that will help communities improve and inspire them to initiate their own waste solution programs as this year’s Reimagine Recycling winners have. The emergence of projects like these proves that there are groups willing to step up and effect change in their own ways, and we in the Coca-Cola Foundation always welcome such efforts,” stressed Cecile Alcantara, President of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc.
“It was inspiring to work closely with entrepreneurs and advocates on different problems in plastic pollution, from e-commerce packaging to waste collection,” said Anna Oposa, Executive Director of Save Philippine Seas.
The judging panel was composed of Atty. Cashmer Dirampaten, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability Director of Coca-Cola Philippines, Ma. Cristina Cabalza, Programs and Finance Manager of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines; Pia Roxas-Ocampo, CEO and Founder of Pure Oceans and ReMaker Space; and Carlo Delantar, Partner of Core Capital and Head of Circular Economy at Gobi Partners.
You can read more about Coca-Cola’s vision of a World Without Waste here: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/reports/business-environmental-social-governance-report-2020.
For more information regarding Reimagine Recycling and the winning initiatives, please visit www.savephilippineseas.org/reimagine-recycling and www.savephilippineseas.org/projects-reimagine-recycling.