The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), strengthens its advocacy on environment conservation and preservation through its Consumer Care Webinar Series.

As part of the celebration of the World Consumers Rights Day (WCRD), a month-long series of webinars on waste management, recycling initiatives, and sustainability programs were held for the month of March.

Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo of the DTI-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) asserts, “As we lead the information campaign on sustainable consumption in the Department with the WCRD theme “Tackling Plastic Pollution,” we highlight the need for collective action and the important role of consumers in addressing the global plastic crisis.”

The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Solid Waste Commission were part of the series to discuss the government’s sustainable actions on plastic pollution for the webinars entitled “Ecological Solid Waste Management and Its Related Programs”, and “Zero Waste Philippines: Recycling and Material Sustainability Programs”, respectively.

Through the webinar entitled “Responsible Tourism: Plastic Upcycling and Waste Management”, the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), a non-government organization (NGO) that promotes the preservation and conservation of the environment, discussed strategies on dealing with single-use plastics in the tourism sector, cooperating and coordinating with the private sector, government, and other NGOs to implement such strategies – a national roadmap for sustainable tourism, ecolabelling and certification schemes, capacity building and GHG monitoring, and information campaigns.

Two of the biggest producers of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities (BNPC) in the country,  Nestlé and Unilever, shared their respective company initiatives in addressing plastic pollution. These include pursuing a circular economy approach, veering away from single-use and developing sustainable packaging, city-wide collection programs, ocean cleanup activities, waste management education, and overall reduction of pressure on resources by keeping materials in use for the longest possible time.

For the webinar entitled “Zero Waste Programs and Initiatives in the Philippines”, Mother Earth Foundation talked about bringing waste management and environmental protection to the community and grassroots level. SM Supermalls showcased their “Trash to Cash Recycling Market” which incentives customers and mall tenants with cash in exchange for bringing their recyclables.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) joined the month-long series of webinars by discussing their programs and services on weather and flood alerts. This is aimed at educating the consumers on understanding weather hazards and how the agency’s services and programs provide protection against natural calamities and ensure the safety, well-being, and economic security of the general public.

International companies, Avient (formerly Clariant Masterbaches) and Polymateria, Ltd. UK, which specialize in providing tailored biodegradable solutions for conventional plastic packaging were also invited to give their global perspective on the plastic crisis and discussed the newest trends and solutions that are currently in use.

The month-long webinar series ended with the Corporate Social Responsibility Programs of cement companies, Holcim Philippines and Republic Cement. Aside from discussing their commitment to environmental compliance and stewardship, they also talked about their commitment to reducing their carbon emissions and freshwater consumption and using more qualified wastes as alternative fuel and raw materials to improve their environmental footprint.

Consumers are encouraged to participate in the next webinar sessions and are advised to regularly visit the DTI’s Consumer Care social media accounts for updates. For other consumer-related concerns, send an email to ♦

Date of Release: 21 April 2021