Energy Development Corporation has partnered with Plastic Flamingo to recycle their employees’ plastic waste.
The Philippines was ranked as the world’s third biggest polluter with 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste generated annually, according to the report released by the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment in 2020.
For this reason, the country’s largest renewable energy power producer and Lopez-led geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) finds it necessary to help in eliminating plastic waste materials as part of its mission to achieve a regenerative and decarbonized future. To make this a reality, EDC has teamed up with Plastic Flamingo (PLAF) for its plastic-to-shelter project.
PLAF is a French social enterprise with a pilot project in the Philippines that aims to develop a solution to fight marine plastic pollution in emerging countries.
EDC signed an agreement with PLAF to realize the company’s aim of a waste- and plastic-free, and eventually, zero-waste company.
EDC Corporate Support Functions Head and Assistant Vice President Regina Victoria J. Pascual says waste management is nothing new for EDC. The company has been releasing sustainability reports since 2010 following the Global Reporting Initiative that include how it manages its hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Pascual said the company has been implementing various programs to eliminate plastic waste such as information campaigns among employees on proper waste materials disposal and encouraging employees to donate eco-bricks to its sister-company, First Balfour.
“Still, we knew that there’s always a way to do more, to have less waste, to have better environmental impact—which led to our desire to have zero waste in EDC. Our bigger hurdle came last year when we started working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and realized that all those food and grocery deliveries and items ordered online that came in layers of bubble wrap have resulted in accumulation of plastic waste in our employees’ respective houses. This led to our search for a partner that can help us manage our personal plastic waste and convert them into sustainable products. The search is over, thanks to PLAF,” says Pascual.
Under the agreement, plastic waste materials of EDC employees who are based in Manila and adjacent areas will be collected once a month and will be turned over to PLAF for proper waste recycling, upcycling and disposal. Part of PLAF’s program is segregating the collected plastics according to its classifications and then transforming them into Eco-Planks. The eco-planks are used in producing emergency shelter for populations hit by disaster.
In an article published by the National Institute of Health in the United States, the demand for single-use plastic is expected to increase by 40 percent in packaging and 17 percent in other applications, including medical uses. Several environmental groups also posed concern on the increasing usage of single use plastic during the pandemic, particularly due to disposable medical equipment such as PPEs, face shields and face masks for the frontliners and the rise in e-commerce as shoppers avoid going to the mall to buy food and other items.
PLAF Chief Revenue Officer Gauthier Belhomme says EDC and PLAF shared the same value of protecting the environment for the benefit of the community and the future generation. “Please keep in mind that all you do at home and all you do at work will help no matter how small it is.”
Moreover, EDC Human Resources Management Group Head and Senior Vice President Ma. Elizabeth D. Nasol gave her pledge of commitment on behalf of EDC employees. “We commit to do our best to make this partnership a success, not by purposely consuming more but by being mindful of our plastic waste.”
EDC’s over 1,499MW total installed capacity accounts for 20% percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity while its 1,204.67MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the third largest geothermal producer in the world.