The Philippines faces a daunting challenge: it contributes one-third of all oceanic plastic waste worldwide. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to manage plastic waste. As plastic pollution continues to threaten the environment, Coca-Cola Philippines, in partnership with Plastic Bank and Lighthouse Legacy Foundation, is taking a proactive stance to create a world without waste.
I. Plastic Pollution in the Philippines
A. The Impact of Plastic Waste The Science Advances journal revealed that the Philippines is a significant contributor to oceanic plastic pollution. The mismanagement of plastic waste has far-reaching consequences on the environment and marine life.
B. The Role of Land-Based Plastic Waste Plastic waste mismanagement is a significant driver of ocean pollution. Addressing this issue requires a holistic approach that spans the entire lifecycle of plastics, from production to consumption and disposal.
II. Coca-Cola’s Commitment to a World Without Waste
A. Vision and Objectives Coca-Cola Philippines is dedicated to realizing its “World Without Waste” vision. The company has set ambitious goals, including making 100% of its packaging globally recyclable by 2025, using at least 50% recycled material in their packaging by 2030, and collecting the equivalent of every can and bottle it sells by 2030.
B. Collaboration for Change Coca-Cola Philippines understands the magnitude of the challenge and believes that their goals can be achieved through continuous and effective efforts, including collaboration with like-minded organizations.
III. The International Coastal Cleanup 2023
A. Partnership for Impact In September 2023, Coca-Cola Philippines partnered with Plastic Bank and Lighthouse Legacy Foundation to organize the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) at the Julugan Fish Port in Tanza, Cavite. This collaborative effort brought together 200 volunteers to address coastal waste issues in the area.
B. The Importance of Collaboration During his opening remarks, Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony Del Rosario emphasized the significance of teamwork and collaboration in tackling marine debris and promoting a circular economy for packaging.
C. The ICC, initiated by Ocean Conservancy and supported by Coca-Cola since 1995, is a global movement involving volunteers from over 90 countries who work to make shorelines, rivers, lakes, and waterways litter-free while raising environmental awareness.
IV. The Partnership with Plastic Bank
A. Preventing Plastic Pollution Coca-Cola Philippines began partnering with Plastic Bank in 2021 to prevent plastic from entering the ocean and to improve the livelihoods of waste-collecting communities.
B. The Collaborative Model Plastic Bank’s approach involves collaborating with various stakeholders to create a collection community. Progressive corporations like Coca-Cola play a crucial role in supporting this initiative.
C. Traceability and Recycling Collected plastics from ICC clean-up drives are handed over to Plastic Bank’s partner junk shops, where they are sorted and data is recorded through a mobile application, ensuring traceability for recycling and reporting.
D. Empowering Waste Collectors Waste collectors receive essential tools and equipment, such as sacks, uniforms, weighing scales, and shop signages, to enhance their efficiency in collecting and sorting plastic waste.
V. Impactful Results
A. Quantifying the Effort In the most recent clean-up drive, volunteers from various organizations, including Coca-Cola Philippines, collected over 1,000 kilograms of waste in the Tanza, Cavite area.
B. Beyond the Numbers Zed Avecilla, the Executive Director of the Lighthouse Legacy Foundation, highlights the importance of creating awareness and emotions surrounding the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law, emphasizing the value of partnerships.
VI. Annual Commitment to Sustainability
A. A Yearly Reminder The annual ICC event serves as a poignant reminder of the need to keep the Philippines’ water bodies free from waste. Coca-Cola Philippines consistently supports this initiative by contributing innovative strategies developed through collaborations.
VII. A Sustainable Future
A. Through its partnership with Plastic Bank and Lighthouse Legacy Foundation, Coca-Cola Philippines is making significant strides toward its “World Without Waste” vision, bringing a more sustainable future closer to reality.
Coca-Cola Philippines, Plastic Bank, and Lighthouse Legacy Foundation are leading the charge in combating plastic pollution in the Philippines. Their collaborative efforts, highlighted by initiatives like the International Coastal Cleanup, represent a crucial step towards achieving a world without waste. By taking a proactive stance and fostering partnerships, these organizations are making a tangible impact on the environment, setting an example for others to follow in the quest for a sustainable future.