July 13, 2017

Dole Philippines Launches ‘Sunshine Heroes’ to Save PH from Garbage Crisis

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  • The world’s largest producer and marketer of fresh fruits, Dole Philippines, in partnership with Gone Adventurin’ and Mother Earth Foundation and supported by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), introduced the company’s newest sustainability campaign called Sunshine Heroes.

    Launched July 13 at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati, the campaign is centered on encouraging the active involvement of the youth in a recycling movement.

    The Sunshine Heroes campaign has started with five pilot schools in Metro Manila: Masambong Elementary School, Holy Spirit Elementary School and Sergio Osmeña Senior High School in Quezon City, and Potrero National High School and Potrero Elementary School in Malabon. Material recovery facilities (MRF) were put up in these schools, and students will be requested to bring household recyclables to the facility. The trash will then be sold to local junk shops to be recycled.

    3 Horrifying Facts

    These served as the motivation for the leaders of the campaign to pioneer this large-scale recycling campaign. Hopefully, this will also be an eye-opener to everyone.

    1. The Philippines produces about 14.6 million tons of garbage a year. That means around 40,000 tons every day. Metro Manila alone contributes to 25% of it.
    2. The Philippines is the 3rd largest contributor to ocean plastic waste. This is horrifying as much as it is shameful, considering that we are a small country compared to the two leading countries, Indonesia and China.
    3. There is an island of trash called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and we contribute much to it. 80% of the garbage that reaches this patch comes from North America and Asia.

    3 Promising Facts

    Pioneers of the campaign remain optimistic as they shared these three facts to shed light on the objectives of the campaign.

    1. Major change happens when you involve the youth.” For Dole Asia VP for Marketing and Innovations Ashvin Subramanyam, schoolchildren are the key role-players of the campaign because of their power to influence their respective households to change behaviors, both as consumers and as sustainability advocates.

    Ashvin Subramanyam talks passionately about the reasons behind the Sunshine Heroes campaign.

    2.“Waste segregation is the holy grail of recycling.” For Gone Adventurin’ CEO and Founder Ashwin Subramaniam, recycling is just the easy part. Teaching kids proper waste segregation is the most crucial. That is why the campaign starts with educating and training students on how to sort recyclables and other waste.

    Ashwin Subramaniam is well versed on the subject of recycling.

    3. The campaign is most likely to succeed if it is financially self-sustaining. And that is the case of the Sunshine Heroes campaign. Money earned from selling the segregated trash to local recyclers will all go directly to the school to help fund other school activities.

    Together with the recycling hero characters: (L – R) Amor Maclang of Geiser Maclang, Dole ASEAN Cluster General Manager Noel Casanova, Dole VP for Marketing and Innovations Ashvin Subramanyan, Engr. Eligio Ildefonso of NSWMC, and Gone Adventurin’ CEO and Founder Ashwin Subramaniam

    Four recycling characters were also introduced during the launch to have a more engaging way for Filipinos to understand the idea of recycling and sustainability. Each character is inspired by endemic animals in the Philippines and represents an ecosystem that forms the core of Dole Philippines’ waste recycling initiative: the carabao for land, the Philippine Eagle for air, the pawikan or sea turtle for water, and the tarsier for trees.

    Written by: Rizelle “Rei” Leaño

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