Turning Trash Into Treasure: How Philippines-Based Green Antz Is Leading The Fight Against Plastic Pollution

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In an age the place comfort reigns supreme, the United Nations Setting Program (UNEP) has delivered to gentle our dependancy to single-use plastic, a sobering actuality that underscores a worldwide disaster.

Annually, we produce plastic waste equal to all the world inhabitants’s weight, of which solely 9% is estimated to have ever been recycled, whereas a staggering 79% accumulates in landfills or is dumped into the pure surroundings. There, these plastics persist for hundreds of years, progressively fragmenting into smaller particles often called microplastics that infiltrate the meals chain, contaminate our ingesting water, and finally, exchange the vitamins on our dinner plates.

A silent however pervasive risk to each well being and the surroundings, microplastics now function a defining geological marker of the Anthropocene period. This period might be encapsulated by layers of plastic waste, embedded within the earth for future generations to uncover. Thus, the UNEP has referred to as for instant and decisive motion from governments, industries, and people alike, difficult them to interrupt free from the shackles of single-use plastic and reverse this pattern.

Within the coronary heart of the Philippines, Inexperienced Antz has emerged as a transformative pressure in waste administration and the round financial system. Based in 2013, this progressive firm is on a mission to sort out the plastic air pollution disaster head-on. The Philippines, with simply 1.4% of the world’s inhabitants, astonishingly contributes over one-third of the world’s marine plastic waste. The “sachet financial system” within the Philippines, pushed by restricted disposable earnings and rising consumerism, leads to the consumption of roughly 163 million small, single-use plastic sachets day-after-day. These sachets, sadly, don’t have any business worth, resulting in the choking of the nation and its waterways with billions of discarded plastics.

Chinky Cordova, Head of Waste Administration, Inexperienced Antz. Supply: Inexperienced Antz

In line with Chinky Cordova, Head of Waste Administration at Inexperienced Antz, the Philippines isn’t but geared up to unravel the totality of the plastic waste problem- however Inexperienced Antz is making strides. Certainly, Inexperienced Antz has a transparent technique to take care of the problem:

  • Broaden the plastic waste assortment community throughout native governments, faculties, companies, and residential areas, establishing a nationwide footprint.
  • Improve processing capacities and capabilities by innovating new recycled plastic merchandise together with 100% recycled plastic feedstock for native manufacturing use, and goal plastic sorts with the bottom recycling charges akin to plastic sachets within the Philippines.
  • Present nationwide consciousness of plastic recycling, and the position of circularity locally, particularly among the many youth.
  • Broaden the enterprise into new ASEAN markets

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In Q1 2023, Inexperienced Antz collected 500,000 kilograms of plastic waste- an 829% year-on-year (YoY) improve, and the equal of 83 million plastic utensils, 14 million plastic bottles, 50 million plastic cups, 100 million plastic luggage saved from contributing to the ever-growing plastic air pollution disaster.

One of many elementary pillars underpinning Inexperienced Antz’s exceptional success in waste administration is its intensive community of collaborations and partnerships with varied stakeholders all through the nation. These strategic alliances have considerably expanded the scope of their affect.

As an example, Inexperienced Antz has joined forces with Rotary Worldwide, a collaboration geared toward recycling roughly 25 kilo-tons of plastic waste yearly. This joint effort is a important step of their mission to scale back plastic waste by 1% by 2025.

In one other impactful partnership, Shell Lubricants Philippines has enthusiastically embraced the idea of “round options.” Clients now have the chance to contribute to this sustainable initiative by depositing used lubricant bottles and different plastic waste gadgets. These supplies are then recycled to be reinjected into the financial system through varied mediums.

Inexperienced Antz maintains a steadfast dedication to steady innovation, perpetually in search of novel and sustainable strategies for the efficient and environment friendly recycling of plastic. A main instance of this sustainable cycle is the manufacturing and sale of eco-bricks by Inexperienced Antz to the development trade.

Supply: Inexperienced Antz

The affect has been nothing wanting extraordinary. As a tangible testomony to the potential of reworking waste into alternative, Culianin Elementary Faculty in Plaridel collected a formidable 9,000 kilograms of plastics. These plastics had been ingeniously repurposed to assemble important infrastructure, together with a clock tower, pathways, and a faculty canteen.

This method to the round financial system has earned the assist of the Financial institution of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Southeast Asia’s first financial institution, and one of many Philippines’ largest. Because the Asia-Pacific area intensifies efforts to handle consumption and manufacturing patterns issues, Inexperienced Antz and BPI are decided to uplift future generations by institutionalizing the round financial system mannequin.

Inexperienced Antz performs an indispensable position within the realm of waste administration, as exemplified by its strategic collaborations with outstanding shoppers akin to P&G, RFM, and Colgate-Palmolive. These alliances are anchored within the ideas of the prolonged producer duty (EPR) regulation, which imposes a mandate on corporations to actively gather and recycle a portion of the plastic they introduce into the market.

Late in July 2022, the Philippines’ EPR Act of 2022 lapsed into regulation, formally mandating corporations, together with trade giants like P&G, to undertake the gathering of 20% of the plastic they produce, with this quota escalating to 40% within the subsequent 12 months. With a ten% annual improve as much as 80% by 2028 and onwards, Inexperienced Antz is in an ideal place to help these companies in fulfilling their mandated tasks.

Via the accountable assortment and recycling of plastic, Inexperienced Antz accumulates plastic credit, that are then made accessible to corporations to assist in their ESG objectives or EPR compliance. In recognition of its invaluable contribution to the discount of plastic waste, Inexperienced Antz receives further funding, solidifying its position as a vital participant on this sustainable ecosystem.

A important associate in Inexperienced Antz’s journey is Arowana Influence Capital (AIC), a licensed B Company, famend for its numerous world portfolio in sectors like renewable power, training, enterprise capital, and asset administration, underscoring its dedication to impactful and sustainable enterprise practices.

Benn Lim, Chief Working and Influence Officer, Arowana. Supply: Arowana

AIC, with its agency dedication to the round financial system, has been actively working to construct a broader ecosystem to handle the plastic waste challenge. AlC has been instrumental in offering strategic and operational assist to Inexperienced Antz, in addition to navigating the exterior surroundings with the assistance of AIC’s advisors on recycling know-how and market consciousness, new shopper introductions, and partnerships.

Managing the expansion stage of an organization comes with a set of challenges not like these from the inception stage, however Arowana’s expertise in scaling corporations has helped Inexperienced Antz professionalize and optimize for scale. AIC’s long-term imaginative and prescient for Inexperienced Antz is to develop and broaden its affect quickly within the Philippines and the ASEAN area.

Recognizing Inexperienced Antz as a pivotal entity in bridging the private and non-private sectors and addressing the processing hole within the ecosystem, AIC sees Inexperienced Antz as central to their portfolio in fixing the plastic waste challenge. This imaginative and prescient guides their subsequent investments and strategic selections geared toward fixing the plastic waste downside within the area.

Broderic Dytoc, World Enterprise Improvement Supervisor, Arowana Influence Capital. Supply: Arowana Influence Capital

Inexperienced Antz’s ambitions prolong past the Philippines to precedence markets like Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Ivory Coast. The group goals to share their waste restoration ecosystem with the world, demonstrating that progressive options can result in a cleaner, extra sustainable, and economically vibrant future.

Inexperienced Antz’s journey is a testomony to the facility of transformation, the place waste turns into a priceless useful resource, and collective efforts pave the way in which for a sustainable future. The Philippines could have confronted a plastic air pollution disaster, however with pioneers like Inexperienced Antz main the way in which and visionary companions like Arowana Influence Capital, there’s hope for a brighter and cleaner tomorrow.

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