How Nestlé is getting Valenzuela residents to collect used sachets, beverage cartons

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IN LINE with its vision to reduce waste that end up in landfills, the Nestlé Philippines last week launched its first city-specific waste sachets and used beverage carton recovery program called May Balik! Sa Plastik! in Valenzuela City.

“It is a partnership where both parties found each other and we are very privileged to be a partner of the city of Valenzuela and we are confident that this will also be a project that could be an example for many other cities in the future,” Kais Marzouki, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Nestle Philippines, told reporters.

Valenzuela City is a first-class highly urbanized city in Metro Manila. It has 33 barangays, and a total land area of 4,459 hectares. Of the waste collected in the city, 38% are residuals, of which 20% are sachets, while about 38% of the total waste are recyclables, which include cartons, plastics bottles.

This program aims to decrease the amount of waste laminates and used beverage cartons in the city landfill, and transfer station by sorting and collecting them for recycling or upcycling, or co-processing in cement kilns.

Nestlé partnered with Green Antz Builders, Inc. to use the waste materials in the production of eco-bricks, and with Republic Cement to co-process post-consumer waste in the latter’s cement kilns.

Kami po sa Green Antz ang gagawin namin itong mga sachet at iba pang residual waste na makukuha natin galing sa programa ay gagawin po nating Green Antz eco-bricks na pwedeng gawing bahay, eskwelahan at iba pang istraktura [We at Green Antz, we will use the sachets and other residual waste that will be collected from the program to make eco-bricks that can be used to build houses, schools, and other structures],” Rommel B. Benig, founder and CEO of Green Antz, said during the launch.

Lourdes G. Ng, information education campaign (IEC) supervisor for solid waste management division of Valenzuela City, told BusinessWorld that the program will reduce the city’s waste by as much as 40%.

Mr. Marzouki said that the company will first focus on the program’s implementation in Valenzuela City before expanding to other cities in the Philippines.

“The City of Valenzuela is the first city we are partnering with. At this stage, we would like to focus only on this program as we take the learning and improve the program and fine tune it. Once we think it is ready to be rolled out, then we can identify other cities we would want to partner with,” he said.

For the collection program, there are two types of incentives. For public school students who will be able to bring 30 pieces of sachets or five pieces of used beverage cartons, they will be eligible to receive one raffle coupon for a weekly raffle to be held in all public schools, where winners will be receiving gift certificates. For street sweepers, they will receive Nestlé products.

Moreover, the top three schools with the most collections will receive emergency lifeline kits and a chance to have a structure to be built using eco-bricks. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang