From waste to home: Mondelez PH, Plastic Flamingo reinvent waste management

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Cognizant of the impact of the pandemic, many people are prompted to reevaluate their lives by taking a closer look at their learnings from the crisis. Questions such as “How can we contribute to a better future?” “What can we do today to take care of the planet?” surfaced.

Mondelez Philippines transcends these questions by coming up with their own action plans and have helped refine their commitments towards sustainability. This has led to a new partnership with social enterprise the Plastic Flamingo to collect and recycle 40 metric tons of post-consumer plastic packaging in 2021. 

There have been discussions in the news lately about banning certain types of plastic. This is an issue that Mondelez Philippines is more than willing to engage in. Explains Joseph Fabul, Mondelez Philippines Country Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs, “One of our global goals is to help minimize our climate change impact by addressing the collection and recycling of plastic packaging. This means investing in waste management.” 

One of the programs the company has invested in is a partnership with The Plastic Flamingo. The latter is a social company based in Manila that aims to tackle marine plastic pollution. It collects and recycles plastic waste before it reaches the oceans. Started in 2020, the partnership between the two organizations has expanded from a previous 1 metric ton collection agreement to a new commitment of collecting and recycling 40 metric tons of post-consumer plastic packaging. This translates to some 40,000 kg of waste to be collected from designated pick-up points and processed into recycled eco-lumber. The eco-lumber will be used to create disaster relief shelters or huts for use during typhoons and the like. 

“Plastic is a highly efficient material for food packaging that provides the right levels of safety, quality, product protection, and preservation. Simply put, there are no available replacements for food plastic packaging yet to ensure the contents remain safe, high quality and affordable,” adds Fabul. “However, we do support eliminating unnecessary plastic, or items which have viable replacements that do not harm the environment.” 

Fabul also highlights that at the core of this much-debated issue is proper waste management. He ends, “Inconsistent collection and not enough recycling facilities means that plastic as well as other waste often end up in landfills, communities, or oceans – whether they are recyclable or not.” Through this partnership with The Plastic Flamingo, the Company aims to promote proper waste segregation and recycling, goals which anyone can contribute to. 

“The Plastic Flamingo commends Mondelez Philippines’ continuing commitment to ensuring that proper collection and recycling of plastic happens in the country,” shares Francois Lesage, CEO of The Plastic Flamingo. “We believe that a world without oceanic waste is possible with collective effort from different members of the community. We encourage everyone to segregate waste in their homes, and to find recycling centers in their communities so that waste is properly disposed of depending on its kind. For plastic waste, the simple step is to ensure it ends in the trash rather than disposing it just anywhere. These are things we all can do. And for those who can, we encourage investing in collection and recycling activities to make a greater impact together.”