Plastic Neutrality 101
A company is plastic neutral when it has a net zero (i.e. neutral) plastic footprint.
This is achieved by balancing the amount of plastic it uses with an equivalent amount of plastic that is recovered and prevented from polluting the environment.
CNPF is able to achieve plastic neutrality by purchasing plastic credits from the Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX), in a plastic offset mechanism that resembles and is inspired by the carbon offset industry.
PCX is the world’s first global, non-profit, fully integrated plastic offset platform that adopts best practices of carbon credit, applying it to plastic with transparency and impact at its core. It delivers to CNPF a Certificate of Plastic Credit with full audit documentation and publishes the offset in its credit registry.
PCX has built a wide ecosystem of partners that recover, process, and recycle plastic waste. It continuously seeks out the most environmentally sound solutions to plastic waste reduction. It redirects plastic waste to the safest, most environmentally-preferred end destination using only processes that comply with international industry best practices.
Of the plastic collected, those that are recyclable will be sent to vetted partners and reconverted into new useful products. Whatever cannot be recycled will be used as an alternative fuel to coal in cement co-processing, i.e. the use of suitable waste materials for the purpose of energy and resource recovery and resultant reduction in the use of non-renewable resources.
Co-processing is recognized by the UNEP as the environmentally preferred option for managing end-of-life plastics.
Last January 2021 marked Century Pacific’s second year of being “100 percent plastic-neutral”. This followed a push in 2019 to hit this target by 2020, making it one of the first companies in the Philippines to pursue such an initiative.
Consumer companies, like CNPF, face significant cost and performance challenges in finding more sustainable alternatives to plastic. There are immediately no good options to replace plastic packaging outside of the premium market. Nonetheless, reduction of plastic is a key pillar of the Company’s sustainability strategy and, alongside PCX, it has found plastic neutrality to be an innovative solution that provides a solution to the plastic problem whilst ensuring plastic-packaged products remain accessible and affordable to majority of Filipino consumers.
CNPF supports a waste-to-cash program which incentivizes women-owned sari-sari stores to become collection points for post-consumer plastic waste. Primary among these incentives is increased income opportunity and additional livelihood for women micro-entrepreneurs, as well as other low-income residents located in their communities.
To jump-start the new micro-enterprise, CNPF has installed, for sari-sari store owners of Barangays 432 and Baseco Port in the City of Manila, two purposefully designed 10 to 20-foot containers to assist in their collection of post-consumer plastic waste.
Each container can hold up to 5,000 kilograms of post-consumer plastic waste and now serves as the communities’ aggregation hubs.
Residents can then sell, through their respective women micro-entrepreneurs, post-consumer plastic for a predetermined price per kilogram. Once they fill up the container, the lot of post-consumer plastic is purchased at a mark-up, then fed into the ecosystem of partners who recover, process and recycle the waste.
Through this program, both sari-sari store owners and community members are given the opportunity to not only make extra income, but are also empowered to depollute the environment around them.
By incorporating sari-sari store owners into CNPF’s broader plastic neutrality effort, it is helping build a strong network of women micro-entrepreneurs, who can be catalysts for environmental protection in their respective communities.