WHILE it is working towards making the packaging of its products 100% recyclable in six years, Nestlé Philippines needs support from the government and other stakeholders on recycling efforts.

Kais Marzouki, the chairman and chief executive officer of Nestlé Philippines, said in a recent media briefing that the company has made 75% of their packaging recyclable.

“Plastic is a big topic in the Philippines. We are committed towards the goal that our company has set out, which is to make sure all our packaging is recyclable by 2025,” he said.

“But truth is already today, 75% of our packaging is recyclable. It doesn’t mean that it’s being recycled. So we need, and we are working with other companies and with government, to try to create a circular economy,” he added.

Nestlé Philippines handles several food brands in the country that are sold by retail: Nescafe, Coffee-mate, Milo, Nido, Bear Brand, Nestea, and Chuckie, among others.

Earlier this month, World Bank Acting Director for the Philippines Agata E. Pawlowska said in a Marine Plastics Conference that the country now has the highest rate of mismanaged plastics in the world.

“There is a lack of statistics on the amount of plastic in the Philippine waters. What is known is that the amount of mismanaged plastic waste is continuously increasing, and that the plastic crisis requires urgent action,” she said.

In December, House Bill No. 8692 was filed seeking a nationwide ban on single-use plastic products such as grocery bags, food packaging, water bottles, straws, cups and sachets. It is still on first reading at the House of Representatives.

Nestlé Philippines’ ready-to-drink business unit manager Veronica Caron V. Cruz said the carton boxes used for the Chuckie packaging is being regularly collected to be recycled as paper.

“Actually the Chuckie packaging is recyclable. So what we do is right now we collect in specific areas the used beverage cartons… And we have a mill in Bulacan. We work with Tetra Pak, we have a paper mill and we grind it, and we get the paper. In fact now, in Chuckie promo packs, if you see the sleeves that we have, it’s recycled paper already,” she said.

She added that this year is the first time Nestlé Philippines is using recycled paper for its promotion packs. The company intends to continue finding ways to recycle the waste from product packaging.

“The goal is to get more people to bring in the used box cartons, used beverage cartons into the mill so we get to recycle more. And what we do is really use it back, then it becomes a complete cycle,” Ms. Cruz added. — Denise A. Valdez