Group urges firms to adopt green packaging solutions


The business sector should adopt sustainable packaging solutions and invest in the recovery and recycling of these materials, the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (Parms) said.

Parms Co-convenor and Founding President Crispian Lao, in a recent event hosted by the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, stressed the importance of promoting sustainability and a circular economy.

A circular economy refers to sustainable means of production and consumption by reusing materials as much as possible.

“What industry needs to do is to design our packaging so that it becomes more circular and more importantly, to put infrastructure in place so that materials can be recovered and can be recycled,” he said.

If a material cannot be recycled, Lao said it should be treated or properly disposed of.

Still, the Parms official said this should be accompanied by “behavioral change” in terms of using and disposing of plastic packaging.

“Plastics just don’t walk out and find themselves on river. It is the behavioral change that is challenging but something that we need to address,” he said. “Plastic, when it becomes waste, becomes a problem. And the way the plastic affects waste is when people start burning it or dispose of it indiscriminately.”

Parms had developed a roadmap, dubbed “Ambisyon 2030: Zero Waste to Nature,” which aims to prevent plastic waste from ending up in nature.

Lao said it identifies how much volume of plastic is being used and the strategies need to be done in the short, medium and long term to make the packaging more sustainable and circular.

Personal Collection Direct Selling Inc. General Manager for Technical Operations Rolando Lazo said in the same event that making their packaging sustainable was challenging, particularly the sourcing of the needed materials that will allow them to make the shift.

“We are approaching this very carefully. One thing when we started this journey, we really found it difficult to secure the supply of the things that we need to make our packaging recyclable or biodegradable,” he said.

Lazo said the company includes additives in their packaging that make the plastic biodegradable. These are being tested to ensure that making their packaging sustainable does not compromise its functionality as well.

“The prices of the additives [can vary from] expensive to very expensive. While we are taking a hit in terms of finances, we really want to bring this to the Philippines,” he said.

In September, environmental groups called on e-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee to revamp their packaging scheme amid the expected plastic waste due to surge in Christmas orders.

“The rise of online shopping during pandemic has also shown us that e-commerce is now really part of the new normal. By heeding the people’s call to reveal, reduce and redesign, Lazada and Shopee can lead the way to provide Filipinos a better normal e-commerce experience,” Greenpeace Philippines Consultant Jefferson Chua said.

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