ENVIRONMENT Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management Benny Antiporda was all praises for the “Aling Tindera” program – an approach to help clean up Manila Bay from used plastic which become rampant especially this time of pandemic.
According to Antiporda, the DENR is fully supporting the program which incentivizes the collection of plastic sachets and the likes that are ending up in Manila Bay.
“This residual waste recovery program is very timely as it augments government efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay amid the pandemic where the use of sachets and other plastic packaging has become more rampant,” he said.
Aling Tindera is a joint project of the DENR-National Capital Region (NCR) office and The Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx), a non-profit plastic offset organization founded by philanthropist and entrepreneur Nanette Medved-Po.
The project Antiporda said, is not only targeting to cleanup Manila Bay but also seeks to help fishermen and their families from the plastic wastes they gather around the historic shore which they can sell them at Aling Tindera collection points stationed in coastal areas.
Aling Tindera shops then turn the plastic collections into profit by selling them to sustainability-conscious companies through the PCEx.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Antiporda noted that majority of people run to the ever-dependable “sari-sari” stores to buy food and other essentials.
“Unfortunately, since these products come in small packages like sachet, more plastic trash are generated by the community which, if not properly disposed of, would find their way into our waterways,” he pointed out.
This is the reason according to Antiporda why it is important for the public to religiously practice waste segregation at home and support solid waste management programs like Aling Tindera.
DENR-NCR Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan described the Aling Tindera program as an “innovative approach to addressing the problem of plastic waste in Metro Manila.”
Caancan said that plastic waste, particularly the post-consumer plastic packaging, constitutes a big part of the growing volume of solid waste in the metropolis.
“The program was designed to promote qualified ‘sari-sari’ stores as waste-to-cash collection centers at the barangay level,” the regional director explained.
Caancan said that the conservation of Manila Bay should not come to a halt while the government is addressing the global pandemic.