A NONPROFIT group has pledged to improve waste management, particularly the problem of plastic and other garbage that end up in the ocean and waterways.

On Wednesday, Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) led the signing of a multi-sectoral commitment towards this end by coming up with an action plan for the coming years.

The event came after the signing on Jan. 26 by snacks manufacturer Mondelez Philippines, Inc. and other companies of their pledge “Ambisyon 2030: Zero Waste to Nature.”

PARMS will conduct consultation and planning sessions to make a roadmap. The timeframe of the goal will be divided into short (2022), medium (2025), and long-term (2030) targets.

PARMS Founding President and Commissioner Crispian N. Lao said the public needs to better understand the issue of plastic waste.

“We would like to be a partner to the government, advocacy groups and consumers to better understand the issue of plastic waste,” he said in a statement.

The short-term goal is for PARMS, together with the signatory companies, to develop a preliminary draft of a roadmap by April.

“What we want to do is to develop that roadmap and the activities of PARMS will be guided by that roadmap, towards achieving that roadmap,” Mr. Lao said.

One of the challenges that the pledge will face is the lack of waste infrastructure, Mr. Lao said, as he called for the collective effort of both the government and the private sector for the pledge to be successful.

“It is a collaborative effort inclusive of the government to put up the waste infrastructure to complement the packaging changes that manufacturers will implement. It is an ambitious target for the Philippines. But it is achievable and we are committed to see it through,” he said.

Another goal of “Ambisyon 2030” is to shift the public’s consumption patterns and to increase the people’s awareness to minimize waste generation.

Mondelez Philippines CGA Country Manager Toff M. Rada said that one of the company’s goals is to make the packaging of its products recyclable by 2025.

“The recycling industry has to be ready to take up the recyclable packaging for the pledge to be sustainable,” he said.

Mr. Rada described the project as a work in progress as the process of changing Mondelez’s product packaging is still being studied and will take time.

“Our company is studying a reasonable roadmap and timeframe that would allow us to change our packaging by 2025,” he added.

Mr. Lao said that small and medium-sized enterprises are also included in the same goal.

“Bigger companies will come in first in achieving the goal but other companies will also follow within the 2030 target,” he said.

Partner companies for “Ambisyon 2030” include Coca-Cola Philippines, Monde Nissin Corp., Nestle Philippines, PepsiCo, Inc., Procter and Gamble Philippines, and Unilever Philippines, among others. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave