Philippines

The Philippines contributes nearly two million tonnes to the global ocean plastic problem.

The Philippines was the second Social Plastic ecosystem activated by Plastic Bank in November 2016.

 

The Philippines is ranked by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as the 3rd biggest plastic polluter in the world, behind only China and Indonesia.

Overview

Made up of over 7500 islands in the western Pacific, the Philippines has a population of over 100 million people and a population density about 10 times that of the United States. 

High rates of poverty, geography, and lack of infrastructure all contribute to the ocean plastic crisis.

Pilot leads to Expansion

Our pilot branch opened in 2017 with the support of World Vision and Proctor & Gamble in Baseco, Manila City. 

By creating relationships with existing “junk shops”, informal collectors, and the local government, we were able to prove that we could increase collection and improve conditions for collectors. 

We’re currently focused in Naga City, Camarines Sur Province working with the Balatas-Kadamay Association of Waste Pickers, and coordinating with the local government. We are implementing a cooperative model for 176 plastic collectors.

Subsistence to Enterprise

For two decades, members of the Association have been recovering recyclables and individually selling to “junk shops”. Plastic Bank supported them to work as a cooperative, recovering and selling recyclable plastics to their own enterprise. This pays a higher price for the plastics and the co-op has developed a collective savings fund.

From the Margins to the Centre

Previously at the bottom of the plastic recycling pyramid, the co-op now recovers close to 12,000 kg of plastics every month, selling cleaned and sorted plastics to Plastic Bank partner processors

The City Government of Naga has appointed the co-op as the aggregator of plastics collected across 27  facilities in all of the barangays (villages) within Naga City.

From the Grassroots to the Platform

The cooperative has become an influential voice in the dialogue on solid waste management and poverty reduction.

The UNESCAP engages the Balatas-Kadamay Association president as a representative of plastic collectors in global dialogues.