SM Supermalls, through its corporate social responsibility arm SM Cares, has partnered with Philippine-based, non-profit organization Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx) for a plastic waste collection initiative known as the Plastic Waste Collection Program. The initiative aims to help communities dispose of their plastic waste more responsibly and inspire the public to adopt more sustainable practices when it comes to plastic use.
Plastic waste collection will start with SM Megamall (Located at RDU Supermarket, Bldg. B), beginning February 10 onwards, and will soon be rolled out in stages across other SM Malls nationwide. Mall shoppers, communities, and offices within the area are encouraged to bring their empty, cleaned, and dried plastic waste every day, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM only.
The project promotes responsible plastic waste disposal by encouraging individuals to clean and dry all kinds of plastic waste they generate at home, including plastic bottles, food containers, plastic utensils, and sachets.
Acceptable types of plastics include PET (soda bottles, furniture), HDPE (bottles, grocery bags, pouches), LDPE (grocery bags, containers, dispensing bottles), PP (car parts, food containers, dishware), and PS (cafeteria trays, plastic utensils, toys), as well as all other plastic types except for PVC.
“Our partnership with SM Supermalls and SM Cares will provide a more extensive opportunity for Filipinos to dispose of their plastic waste responsibly. The PCEx Team remains committed to furthering programs and channels to help save the environment. We all have the collective responsibility to do our part for the planet, and this plastic waste collection program is just one of the many initiatives lined up, ” said Richard de Guzman, PCEx Sustainable Community Development Manager.
“Through the Plastic Waste Collection Program, we are hoping to help instill an eco-conscious mindset among Filipinos when it comes to their use and disposal of plastic. This will be a good community-based initiative on responsible solid waste management, and we are grateful for the partnership with Plastic Credit Exchange,” said SM Cares Program Director on Environment Engr. Liza B. Silerio.
Filipinos are known to be heavy plastic users. According to a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines published in October 2020, Filipinos consumed about 2.15 million tonnes of plastic in 2019, with 35 percent of this number leaked to the open environment. The report also revealed that the plastic waste recycling rate was only at 9 percent of the said figure for that year.
The Plastic Waste Collection Program supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 12, which promotes sustainable consumption and production patterns, and SDG 14, which supports conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
Of the plastic collected, those that are recyclable will be sent to vetted partners and reconverted into new useful products. Whatever cannot be recycled will be used as an alternative fuel to coal in cement co-processing; i.e. the use of suitable waste materials for the purpose of energy and resource recovery and resultant reduction in the use of non-renewable resources. Co-processing is recognized by the UNEP as the environmentally preferred option for managing end-of-life plastics.
SM’s other initiatives for the Environment include the Trash to Cash recycling market every first Friday and Saturday of the month, across all SM Malls; Electronic Waste Collection program; Water recycling across all of its malls; the use of solar energy; the annual Green Film Festival; and the AweSMSeas campaign on marine plastic pollution, in partnership with USAID and PRRCFI, to name a few.
The Plastic Credit Exchange is the world’s first global, non-profit, fully integrated plastic offset platform. PCEx offers a seamless, traceable and effective solution to offsetting post-consumer plastics responsibly to ensure they don’t wind up in nature.
SM Cares is Supermalls corporate social responsibility arm, responsible for initiatives focusing on supporting communities and care for the environment. In addition to its programs on the environment, SM Cares’ advocacies include programs on women and breastfeeding mothers, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, children and youth, and bike-friendly initiatives.