After Ompong, Monde Nissin, JBC Food Corporation top plastic waste count in Pasig River

Press release - September 17, 2018
17 September 2018, Manila, Philippines – After the rains brought by the tail end of Typhoon Ompong caused flooding, plastic pollution once again became more apparent in our streets and waterways. Greenpeace Philippines sampled the plastic wastes in Pasig River and found Monde Nissin, JBC Food Corporation and 7-Eleven, among others, as the top plastic polluters in a brand audit conducted today.

Using trash boats from the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), Greenpeace, together with the Nagkakaisang Mananambakan ng Dumpsite Area (NMDA) conducted a rapid assessment of plastic wastes in one of the river’s main tributaries. A total of 1,006 pieces of single-use plastics were collected in one hour. The brand audit revealed that 7.95 percent of the total number of plastic wastes collected were produced by Monde Nissin, makers of Lucky Me! Instant noodles. JBC Food Corporation followed with 7.06 percent, while 6.16 percent was food packaged products manufactured by 7-Eleven [1]. 

“As if the scourge of typhoons and monsoons are not enough, these companies leave it us to take care of the single-use plastic wastes they produce and already profited from,” said Abigail Aguilar, campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines.

In a June 2017 report, the Pasig River was ranked eighth in the top 20 polluting rivers, as predicted by the global river plastic inputs model [2]. The study shows that the river dumps up to 63,700 tons of plastic -- equivalent to more than 10,600 elephants in terms of weight -- into the ocean each year.

The PRRC, meanwhile, has doubled its efforts in preventing wastes from flowing into the river by setting up ‘trash traps’ in areas traversed by its tributaries. One such tributary is the San Juan River which, despite being the shortest river of the three tributaries, contributes the most pollution to Pasig River.

“We are already reeling from the effects of extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change, and yet we are left with the unfathomable consequences of plastic pollution. We need each of us to change our behaviors and reconsider the perception of convenience from single-use plastics. Companies, on the other hand, need to step up and rethink how their products are being packaged and delivered,” Aguilar added.

The result of the latest brand audit is consistent with the results of the Freedom Island brand audit in September 2017 [3], and the results of the brand audits conducted by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and Mother Earth Foundation earlier this year [4], naming almost the same top brands in each respective brand audit. Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Unilever consistently figure at the top of brand audits done in the Philippines and around the world [5].

As part of the Break Free from Plastic movement, Greenpeace is calling for reductions in the production of single-use plastics by big fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) corporations, and for these companies to give back from their profits by looking for alternative delivery systems. Greenpeace is also calling for volunteers for the Manila Bay clean-up and brand audit on September 22, 2018. Interested parties may register at https://act.gp/2BfPPDv. For more information, you can visit Greenpeace Philippines Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/greenpeaceph/.

Notes to the editors:

[1] These are the companies that topped the brand auditing of the plastic wastes found in Pasig River after Typhoon Ompong:

  1. Monde Nissin
  2. JBC Food Corporation
  3. 7-Eleven
  4. PT Torabika
  5. Rebisco (Republic Biscuit Corp.)
  6. Nestle
  7. Zesto
  8. Unilever
  9. Liwayway (Oishi)
  10. Mondelez

[2] River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans. Published June 2017 https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15611#t1

[3] Nestlé, Unilever, P&G among worst offenders for plastic pollution in Philippines in beach audit. September 2017. http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/press/releases/Nestle-Unilever-PG-among-worst-offenders-for-plastic-pollution-in-Philippines-in-beach-audit/

[4] Philippine 2018 WABA results. Published June 2018. https://zerowaste.asia/wasteaudits/

[5] http://plasticpolluters.breakfreefromplastic.org/

Media Contacts:

Abigail Aguilar, Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
| +63 998 589 2551

Angelica Carballo Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
| +63 949 889 1332

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