Plastics are non-biodegradable, we all know that. It will take many years to break down at the very least, some won’t break down at all. This is why we’re seeing many establishments in the country are providing paper bags, and would highly encourage shoppers to bring their own bags. In a step to help the environment, a program dubbed Building Blocks for Change led by Surf, Smart and Cebuana Lhuillier was launched recently.
Unilever Philippines spearheaded its Sachet Recovery Program last year and through its detergent brand Surf and Fiesta ng Surfresa promo were able to collect millions of sachets which were converted into 30,000 cement pavers that will be donated to beneficiaries of 30 public schools throughout the country. The Ilaya Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal; Dualtech Center in Canlubang, Laguna; Candau-ay Elementary School in Dumaguete; and Balulang National High School in Cagayan de Oro are just a few of these schools.
The Fiesta ng Surfresa promo encouraged consumers to bring their empty Surf sachets at any of the 1,800++ Cebuana Lhuillier branches nationwide in exchange for 25 FREE texts for their Smart Prepaid account. The collaborative efforts of the three companies encouraged more consumers to participate in becoming a part of building positive change for the environment. This is made possible because of a very unique sachet recovery model that’s easier, more convenient and more rewarding to participate in. The commitment of Surf, Smart Communications & Cebuana Lhuillier will also aid Unilever Philippines in creating scale for its long-term sachet conversion capabilities such as the conversion into other useful items like construction boards and fuel.
At the Building Blocks for Change launch, there was a demonstration of how these empty Surf sachets are broken down into tiny pieces. The by-product is mixed into the cement mixture for making hollow blocks. This is not the first time that I saw an initiative like this, but this is the first time that a similar project is spearheaded by multinational corporations.
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier who was present at the Building Blocks for Change launch said “Not only does the Sachet Recovery Program address our challenges on waste, it also encourages Filipinos to take a positive action to have healthier surroundings.” Smart Communications co-founder and Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea also shared enthusiasm to the project, “We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this Unilever initiative, through the use of Smart SMS service as a means to reward customer participation in a worthwhile cause.” “Each Filipino can be a building block for positive change,” said Unilever Philippines Chairman and CEO Peter Cowan. “This is only the beginning of our campaign for cleaner, greener living,” he added.
Aside from the Sachet Recovery Program, one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, home and personal care products, has various projects under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan which is a global campaign aiming to reduce Unilever’s environmental footprint while growing its business. The Sustainable Living Plan has three key targets that it aims to achieve by 2020: (1) help more than a billion people improve their health and wellbeing, (2) halve the environmental footprint of its products, and (3) source 100% of raw materials sustainably. The program Building Blocks for Change led by Surf, Smart and Cebuana Lhuillier is a step, not only for Unilever to accomplish its goals, but for the entire Filipino community to be part in taking care of the environment.