Major Western companies among worst plastic offenders in Philippines

Nestlé, Unilever and the Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora are the top three contributors of plastic waste discovered on Freedom Island, a critical wetland habitat in the Philippines.

A week-long beach clean up in the Philippines led by Greenpeace and the #breakfreefromplastic movement revealed that Nestlé, Unilever and the Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora are the worst offenders for plastic pollution in the area. The Philippines is host to a total of 1.88 million metric tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste per year.

“When we throw something away, there is no ‘away’. The Philippines is the third biggest source of plastic ocean pollution because global corporations are locking us into cheap, disposable plastics, rather than innovating and finding solutions,”  Abigail Aguilar, a campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines, said in a statement.

“These corporations are the missing piece in the global fight against plastic pollution. Citizens are burdened with the social and environmental impacts of plastic waste, rather than those that are responsible,” she added.

During the clean up, Greenpeace volunteers and coalition partners from the #breakfreefromplastic Movement, found items ranging from styrofoam to footwear, along with single-use plastics such as bags, plastic bottle labels, and straws. A total of 54,260 pieces of plastic waste were collected during the audit, with most products being low-value, single-use sachets.

“It’s time these companies stop business-as-usual and use their resources to innovate and redesign their packaging and delivery solutions,” Aguilar said. “In the long term they’ll see this will yield strong environmental and economic benefits.”

The Philippines ranks as the third worst polluter into the world’s oceans, with China as number one.


Image credit: Daniel Müller / Greenpeace

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