Century Pacific Food, Inc. (PSE:CNPF), one of the leading branded food and beverage manufacturing companies in the Philippines, has taken another step towards achieving cleaner seas with the launch of its new Saving Our Seas Campaign. Established in 1986, Century Tuna, the country’s leading canned tuna brand, aims to lead the charge in promoting the circular economy and biodiversity in partnership with impact organization HOPE through its Aling Tindera Waste-to-Cash program.
Carlo Endaya, CNPF’s Vice President and General Manager for Century Tuna, said, “The Philippines is among the top contributors of plastic waste in the world, posing a threat to communities and marine life. Conversely, this presents an opportunity to unlock value in plastic waste and prevent it from leaking into nature by incentivizing critical movers in the cycle and creating a circular economy – a win-win scenario for both people and the planet.”
With the Saving Our Seas campaign, Century Tuna jumpstarts the cycle with a plastic waste collection program. The initiative kicked off in Mabini, Batangas, globally renowned for its lush marine life and biodiversity and a haven for scuba drivers. A total of 212 volunteers, including Century Tuna Ambassador Alden Richards and the Century Tuna Superbods, collected 805 kilograms of trash, among the largest volumes collected in the area.
To encourage long-lasting behaviors, multiple plastic waste collection points were installed within the coastal areas, where community members can sell plastic trash in exchange for cash. These drop off points are managed by the community’s sari-sari store owners from HOPE’s Aling Tindera Program. These women micro-entrepreneurs accumulate the plastic waste and ensure it is properly recycled and upcycled back into the circular economy. To-date, there are more than 100 Aling Tindera sites in the country.
Plastic waste accumulated from Aling Tindera sites is then sold to the Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX), generating income for these women entrepreneurs. PCX is a global plastic solutions platform and credit exchange that has an entire ecosystem of partner companies who can reliably process, recycle, and upcycle post-consumer plastic waste into useful materials or energy. Furthermore, PCX converts recycled/upcycled plastic waste into plastic credit, creating an offsetting mechanism for companies who want to reduce their plastic waste footprint and commit to Net Zero Plastic Waste.
“The Saving Our Seas Campaign goes beyond beach cleanups. It is a proactive approach to sustainability and in securing future food supply by creating systemic change through partnerships and community engagement. We believe this is relevant and necessary, especially in light of the EPR law.” said Endaya. The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 lapsed into law in July last year. It required companies to establish programs that would reduce their production, importation, supply, or use of plastic products, such as reduction initiatives, recycling, and offsetting platforms.
Century Tuna further aims to extend its reach nationwide, emphasizing the importance of plastic pollution prevention at home. Endaya stressed the need for every Filipino to participate, regardless of their proximity to coastal areas.
“Our goal is to engage everyone in the Philippines, even those who may not be near the shorelines, as plastic pollution prevention starts within our homes,” said Mr. Endaya. “We encourage responsible plastic waste management and promote the use of recovery facilities, such as the Aling Tindera sites, which are conveniently located nationwide. This is a message we want to convey to the public.”
With these programs, CNPF affirms its commitment to reducing its plastic waste footprint. The Company has a 3P sustainability strategy – Protein Delivery, Planet Preservation, and People Development. Under the environmental pillar, the Company made a commitment to achieve Net Zero Plastic footprint in 2019. As of 2022, all its brands that utilize flexible plastic packaging have been certified as Net Zero Plastic Waste brands by PriceWaterhouseCoopers through a partnership with PCX.
“Embracing more responsible and sustainable business practices is front and center at Century. We strive to operate in a way where progress, growth, and sustainability are inextricably linked. Doing so hopefully secures our longevity as a food company, enabling us to provide affordable nutrition to Filipino families for many more years and beyond,” Endaya concluded.