San Miguel to use biodegradable plastic for product packs

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San Miguel Corporation says it will soon start wrapping its products in biodegradable plastic — the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 13) — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) said it will make the shift to biodegradable plastic for its products, beginning with cement bags and eventually for food items.

In a statement, the diversified conglomerate said it would be the first Filipino company to use biodegradable plastics for product packaging, tapping the technology from a local producer.

The material will be sourced from the Philippine Bioresins Corporation, which developed these earth-friendly substitute to single-use plastics.

SMC said tests done by the Department of Science and Technology confirmed that the material can be broken down to 65 percent in 24 months, versus a 4.5 percent decay rate for non-biodegradable plastics.

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said that the packs will first be tested on cement sacks using woven local materials, and will eventually be used for feeds, grocery bags, and food. SMC owns listed cement company Holcim.

The conglomerate said the move would add to its sustainable strategies, which currently include a returnable glass bottle system and "circular economy" systems that let the company reuse by-products.

“We are very serious when it comes to sustainability. We have stopped our plastic bottled water business; we have taken on the challenge to reduce group-wide non-product water use by 50% by 2025, and we've poured more resources into major projects to clean up bodies of water as well as into research that supports plastic waste reduction," Ang said.