In the Philippines, recycling is largely dependent on the monetary value of recyclable materials which makes it an attractive source of income for waste collectors and recycling centers. In fact, plastic materials have among the highest values among recyclable waste.
Effectively, what makes recycling a commercially attractive waste treatment practice is the existing stream of recyclable materials, and a formal and informal workforce that can be integrated in the waste management system. It can generate income and livelihood opportunities for communities, and formal and informal waste collectors alike.
An efficient recycling industry also minimizes the likelihood that recyclable waste ends up in bodies of water or overstretches the capacity of our landfills. By addressing these gaps, there is now an incentive to properly segregate and collect waste, especially in areas not reached by garbage trucks, and even low-value residuals usually left behind by waste pickers. An incentivized workforce and an airtight system lead to improved quality and quantity of waste collection which in turn guarantees supply for the operations of the recycling industry.
Promoting a seamless recycling industry is a broad-based approach needing the participation of all stakeholders — households, establishments, waste-pickers, small-scale recycling centers, and LGUs. This is exemplified in public- and citizen-led programs that have been implemented through the years such as the school-based recycling program in Marikina, and the women-led organization of waste collectors in Malabon.
The Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS), in partnership with the local government, launched a residual plastic recycling facility in Parañaque. Plastic waste collected from several schools in the city is turned into eco-bricks or recycled building bricks which are also used to improve the schools’ facilities. PARMS is an alliance of major corporations and business groups in the Philippines such as Mondelez Philippines, Coca-Cola Philippines, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Unilever, Universal Robina Corp., Nestlé Philippines, Monde Nissin Corp., and Procter & Gamble Philippines, among others.