Unilever PH renews partnership with Linis Ganda Waste Pickers

Unilever’s flagship program, Misis Walastik, welcomes newly USAID-trained women eco-aides, or waste pickers, to help its commitment to reduce post-consumer plastic waste.

Attending the ceremony were representatives from USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) led by Anna de Chavez, Unilever Philippines Sustainability Lead, Rondell Torres, Linis Ganda Vice Chairwoman, Iluminada Teves, Unilever Philippines Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Atty. Joseph Fabul.

Unilever Philippines recently renewed its partnership with long-time partner, Linis Ganda, the biggest network of junkshops, waste pickers, and recyclers in the country.

Linis Ganda has been Unilever’s plastic collection partner since 2017 in its long-running flagship program, “Misis Walastik”, a community-based waste collection and education program for flexible plastics, such as sachets, plastic bags, and other single-use packaging.

“We have long known at Unilever that we have a part to play in the issue of plastic waste. And achieving our waste-free targets need a collective, multi-sectoral effort”, says Unilever Philippines Sustainability Lead, Rondell Torres, stated during his opening remarks. “Which is why we are thankful to all Women of Walastik, from our long partnership with Linis Ganda, because you are at the front line teaching our communities to properly segregate waste before it can be disposed and recycled continuously.” 

Torres also emphasized Unilever’s commitment to step up its waste diversion efforts for flexible and rigid plastic waste ahead of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Law mandates while supporting the informal waste sector through its waste pickers and eco-aid networks, as well as junkshop partners.

Since 2012, Unilever has been implementing Misis Walastik. As of December 2023, the program has collected over 16.9 thousand metric tons of post-consumer flexible plastic waste, which has been diverted out of landfills and waterways and into a circular economy through Linis Ganda and various other partners.

Linis Ganda Vice Chairwoman, Iluminada Teves, also highlighted the importance of the partnership with Unilever, “Unilever trusted us from the beginning when we were a young organization. Because of our strong partnership through the Misis Walastik program, our capabilities and network of waste pickers and junkshops grew to become the organization we are today – like Misis Walastik, resilient, competent and resourceful.”

Linis Ganda and its growing network of waste workers are present in 3 cities: Quezon City, Antipolo, and Caloocan, and will expand to more cities this 2024.

Globally, Unilever has set itself to reduce package waste in its value chain since 2010 and is driving consistent actions to achieve its ambitious commitments. With a timeline of delivery by 2025, these commitments include reducing the amount of virgin plastic used in manufacturing; supporting the collection and processing of its plastic waste, ensuring plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable; and increasing the use of post-consumer recycled plastic material in their packaging.

Written by Village Connect

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