The companies kicked off their enhanced recycling and waste management program, called ‘Be Kind. Recycle.’, during the Environmental, Health and Safety Week. The program aims to support a circular economy, where resources are reused and waste is minimized.
One of the activities under the program was a weeklong e-waste collection drive at the PLDT and Smart headquarters. Employees were encouraged to donate their old or unused electronic devices and appliances, such as mobile phones, landline phones, routers, laptops, chargers, and others. The drive collected more than 5,500 units of household e-waste.
“As much as waste is bad for the planet and the environment, it is also harmful to us humans as it poses serious risks to our health and safety, if not handled and treated properly. We are piloting the ‘Be Kind. Recycle.’ program targeting e-waste to help develop the practice of recycling as an act of kindness for us and for the planet,” said Melissa Vergel de Dios, Chief Sustainability Officer at PLDT and Smart.
The PLDT Group, which includes PLDT, Smart, e-PLDT, and PLDT Global, is stepping up its efforts to manage e-waste, which is a growing problem in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. According to the 2022 United Nations’ Global E-Waste Monitor Report, the Philippines is among the top e-waste generators in the region. Improper e-waste disposal can impact people’s health and damage the environment.
To educate its employees about e-waste and its hazards, the PLDT Group also held an organizational learning session with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). UNIDO also shared tips with employees on how to properly handle and recycle e-waste materials.
Moreover, the PLDT Group partnered with Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies (BEST), an integrated waste management solutions provider, to encourage employees to properly segregate household trash. Recyclables can be exchanged for environmental points (EP) under BEST’s trash-to-cashback program. EPs can be used to redeem grocery essentials, pay utility bills, swap for gift cards, and other products and services.
The e-waste initiative is part of PLDT and Smart’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. PLDT/Smart also co-chairs Planet Pillar of the Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP), a local chapter of the United Nations that focuses on plastic waste.