Standing L-R: Rondell Torres (Senior Sustainable Business Manager, Unilever), Mitch Cao (Secretary, Linis-Ganda), Joemar Capili (Environment Specialist II, Quezon City Environment Protection and Waste Management Department), Karla Ramos (Planning Officer, Quezon City Environment Protection and Waste Management Department), Atty. Angela Edralin (Environmental Performance and Community Relations Director, Republic Cement)
Seated L-R: Roberto Paligutan (Quezon City Environment Multi-purpose Cooperative Chairman, Linis-Ganda) Lumen Teves (Vice Chairwoman, Linis-Ganda) Ed Sunico (Vice President for Sustainable Business and Communications, Unilever), Lavin Gonzaga (Community Relations and Sustainability Manager, Unilever)
Unilever Philippines launched “Misis Walastik” in 2012, making this the longest-running environmental sustainability program of the company.
Misis Walastik is a community-based waste collection program for flexible plastics, such as sachets, plastic bags, and other single-use packaging, with an incentive to encourage proper waste management.
The program is now present in over 370 barangays across Metro Manila and nearby provinces through partnerships with local governments, private organizations, and other stakeholders in the waste value chain. One of these highly valued partners is Linis Ganda, the widest junkshop network in the Philippines with a stronghold in Quezon City.
Under the program, each junkshop or recycler part of the Linis Ganda network has a designated area of collection and their Eco Aides— your traditional “mag-kakariton” who collects newspapers, bottles and other recyclables that go from house to house to gather the items for reselling and processing. Eco Aides have been upskilled as Information and Education champions through provision of training and communication materials which they use to engage households to participate in the program.
Applying the principles KOLEK (“collect”), KILO (“weigh”) and KITA (“pay / earn”) in Surf Misis Walastik, each household segregates and collects flexible packaging waste then turns it over to their roving Ecoaide.
Households are given a cash incentive for every kilo of plastic thus providing additional income for both the informal waste sector and participating households.
Plastic waste that are otherwise discarded are now collected and matched with an incentive, similar to how other recyclables are recovered.
Utilizing the junkshop network and infrastructure in place, the Surf Misis Walastik program is able to scale faster in areas where residents are already practicing waste segregation and recycling.
Now entering its third year, the Unilever and Linis Ganda partnership has successfully collected over 230MT of plastic waste and provided incentives near Php2M.
Truly, partnerships for purpose last when it is both good for the people and the planet.