In a recent event held in Pampanga, Unilever Philippines announced its partnership with Greencycle Innovations Inc. with the ambition to deliver above the 20% plastic waste diversion target for the EPR law’s first year implementation.
Under the Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022 or Republic Act No. 11898 (also known as the EPR Law), obliged companies are required to adopt and implement policies for the proper management of post-consumer plastic packaging waste. Unilever seeks not just to meet the targets set by law but also surpass them with the help of Greencycle Innovative Solutions and Shine and Fine—two partners that oversee consolidation and processing of post-consumer plastic waste from the Greater Metro Manila are and nearby regions.
“In order to achieve our goal at Unilever to make sustainable living commonplace, we need to work together and foster a multi-sectoral approach to address the issue of plastic waste. Greencycle has been helping us to collect and process flexible plastic waste like sachets and wrappers. This year, we’re proud to expand collection to include rigid plastics, to be upcycled with the help of Shine and Fine”, said Joseph Fabul, Philippines Communications and Corporate Affairs Head, Unilever.
The expanded partnership is the latest in Unilever Philippines’ long-running waste management and education program Misis Walastik, which started in 2012 even before the implementation of the EPR law. Under Walastik since 2012 until end-2022, over 4.6 thousand metric tons of post-consumer flexible plastic waste have been diverted out of landfills and waterways. Through efforts such as Misis Walastik, Unilever seeks to achieve several milestones by 2025, including the shift to 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging; cutting the use of virgin plastics 50%; and even collecting more plastic than they sell.
“We’ve been working with Unilever since 2018 to support the Walastik program as their plastic waste aggregator. We are confident in yet another year of partnership as they commit to step up their plastic waste collection and processing to more than the 20% diversion target under the EPR law at the end of 2023”, says Roland Vera Cruz,
President and General Manager, Greencycle Innovative Solutions.
Unilever courses all EPR compliance reporting and documentation through the Philippine Alliance for Materials Sustainability Alliance (PARMS), an organization that brings together the private sector, non-profits, academic institutions, and the public sector in finding systemic solutions in waste management.
“While we in the private sector can drive innovation and investments in technologies and new practices, we look to the support and guidance of government to foster an enabling environment for a circular economy to scale up. We see that the recently passed EPR Law as a good start for this to happen, and we are grateful that our partners are with us in this shared journey,” adds Rondell Torres, Philippines Sustainability Lead, Unilever.