‘Aling Tindera’ waste-to-cash program launched in Manila

    Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx) founder Nanette Medved-Po (Photo from PCEx)

    The Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx), the country’s first homegrown global non-profit plastic offset organization, together with the City of Manila, and with the support of the PepsiCo Foundation, recently introduced the Aling Tindera Waste-to-Cash program.

    PCEx founder Nanette Medved-Po and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso signed a memorandum of agreement to roll out 100 network partners over three years covering all of the city’s 897 barangays.

    Under the Aling Tindera program, PCEx incentivizes women-owned sari-sari stores to become collection points for post-consumer plastic waste and establishes the community infrastructure for the aggregating, storing, and efficient transport of the waste to partner processing facilities.

    The program gives income opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs and city residents. It is also a more organized informal sector of waste collectors.

    Domagoso said that the Aling Tindera Program is “applicable, doable, and sustainable” as this will generate some income for the community and encourage more sensible and responsible citizens to participate.

    This initiative forms part of PCEx’s broader 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.

    ‘Aling Tinderas’ are women sari-sari store owners invited by the City of Manila to partake in this initiative. To jumpstart their new micro-enterprise, PCEx will provide each one with a purposefully designed 20-foot container, one manual baler donated by the PepsiCo Foundation, and starting capital.

    The journey from ‘Waste to Cash’ begins in Aling Tindera’s neighborhood, where residual plastic has little to no value and ends up contaminating nature. In response to this challenge, the Aling Tindera container will serve as an aggregation hub where any member of the community may sell post-consumer plastic by the kilogram. Simple bystanders become empowered not only to depollute their environment, but make extra income.

    Using the manual baler, Aling Tindera compacts the plastics she buys into blocks that are easier to store and transport. Once she fills up her container, offset partners through PCEx purchase the lot from her and ensure they are processed using environmentally sound technologies.

    PCEx commits to transparency to the public and its clients. Together with SGV & Co.’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) practice, PCEx will perform compliance audits for both plastic footprint as well as the entire value chain of offset operations, including the Aling Tindera plastic collection model.

    “We hope to expand our network of professional services firms and work with them to refine standards for verification to make sure that we are doing our part to make sure that no plastic winds up in nature,” said Medved-Po.