Century Pacific backs waste-to-cash program for sari-sari stores

LISTED food products maker Century Pacific Food, Inc. said on Wednesday that it partnered up with nonprofit Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx) in rolling out a plastic-waste-to-cash program for sari-sari stores owned by women.

In a press release, Century Pacific said that the initiative called “Aling Tindera” allows the stores to become collection points for post-consumer plastic waste.

“Residents can then sell, through their respective ‘Aling Tinderas,’ post-consumer plastic for a predetermined price per kilogram. Once ‘Aling Tindera’ fills up the container, PCEx purchases the lot of post-consumer plastic at a mark-up, then taps its ecosystem of partners who recover, process and recycle the waste,” Century Pacific explained.

On its website, PCEx describes itself as a non-profit that partners up with sustainability-conscious businesses worldwide to offset their plastic footprints, and reduce waste that otherwise ends up in landfills and oceans.

In its media release, Century Pacific said that it installed “two purposefully-designed” containers, which can hold up to 7,000 kilograms of plastic waste, for sari-sari store owners at Brgy. 432 and Baseco Port, Manila.

The initiative hopes to increase the income opportunities of female sari-sari store owners and provide them with an additional livelihood.

“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,” Century Pacific said.

According to the company, the initiative is part of its broader sustainability program, which includes community livelihood assistance and plastic neutrality as key pillars.

Century Pacific’s dairy brand Birch Tree had been recognized as a “Plastic Neutral Brand” based on an assessment by third-party auditor Isla Lipana & Co., the firm said. This meant that it was able to “recover the amount of plastic equal to its consumption.”

“[We were] able to achieve this by purchasing plastic credits from PCEx, participating in a plastic offset mechanism inspired by the carbon offset industry. Plastic offsetting enables businesses to take action in stopping plastic waste from polluting our waterways and ending up in nature,” the company said.

Century Pacific Chief Operating Officer Gregory Francis H. Banzon said that by incorporating sari-sari store owners in its current effort, “the firm is helping in building a strong network of women micro-entrepreneurs, who can be catalysts for sustainability in their respective communities.”

Century Pacific is also known for the brands Century Tuna, Argentina, 555 and canned milk Angel.

Shares of the firm improved by 1.42% or 26 centavos to close at P18.62 apiece on Wednesday. — Angelica Y. Yang