17 May 2021
Notes from the field by Richard de Guzman
Plastic Credit Exchange believes strongly that the only way to make meaningful and lasting change to reduce plastic pollution is to provide a venue for everyone to participate. Towards the end of 2020, I was excited to learn that there was a solid interest from SM Supermalls and SM Cares to brainstorm ideas to work together towards this shared goal. Fast forward to February 10, we launched our first Plastic Waste Collection Program at SM Megamall with the additional support of Colgate-Palmolive Philippines on the infrastructure and tools. Anyone can officially participate in diverting plastic away from nature by going to the Megamall and donating their plastics to our designated blue van (photo shown below). The Plastic Waste Collection Program site is also located near the designated Bike Parking (another great initiative and campaign by SM Cares by the way!)
This week, PCX had our second hauling (second full van) from our collections at the SM Megamall site. We are happy to share that in addition to the SM Megamall tenants, the number of mallgoers keeps on increasing and we’re getting good feedback from people who are sharing the project with their friends, officemates, and their Facebook groups (thank you and please keep sharing)! We even have regulars already who, when possible, come by on a weekly basis to bring the plastics from their own homes. With the first two hauls at the SM Megamall site, together, we were already able to divert more than 1,000 kg of various kinds of plastics away from nature and the oceans. All these plastics are diverted away from the landfills, esteros and rivers.
With these mega-milestones, I realized how important having the right partners are when it comes to these projects. We are fortunate to work with the teams from SM Cares, SM Supermalls, SM Megamall Administration who keep the project running well day-to-day. We’ve seen some of the most efficient baling and recording since we started working on plastic waste diversion. We’re always happy to share the best practices of SM Megamall to exhibit that plastic waste, when segregated and managed properly, can be made to look like finished, high quality goods. The photo shows a snapshot of our blue van in SM Megamall and a selfie with Kuya Jay who is accepting, baling and documenting all the plastics that come in who is very well supported by the SM Megamall team as well.
The SM team also exhibited a great way to communicate the project to the public through different media options. We were very happy to have PCX’s first digital billboard along EDSA through this partnership.
From a subtle, silent test run at SM Megamall, we were all again very excited to when we got the chance to deploy our second Plastic Waste Collection Site with SM Supermalls with no less than the SM Mall of Asia (this time thanks to Nestle Philippines for the support)! I am looking forward to sharing my notes from the best practices that we have at our SM Mall of Asia and many more collaborations in the works in my next Notes from the Field update.
Despite the challenges that we are facing as a community and as individuals, PCX would love to share simple but stories full of HOPE to keep us going. When our crisis is over (and soon we hope), we look forward to a new normal where we’re doing the right things for the environment.
Notes by Richard de Guzman (smiling behind the mask)