Former Darna actress Nanette Medved-Po, who founded non-profit organization Generation Hope Inc., aims to prove that being plastic neutral can help build a better, greener society. In fact, they just recently celebrated their first anniversary of being plastic neutral...but really, what does it actually mean? Preview had a chance to catch up with Nanette and, in an exclusive interview, she explained to us what being plastic neutral truly stands for, and how you, too, can we participate in this Mother Earth-friendly advocacy.
What does being plastic neutral mean?
"Generation Hope describes it as 'having a net zero plastic footprint by balancing a measured amount of plastic produced with an equivalent amount that it is offset either by recycling or through buying of plastic credits to make up the difference.'"
Does it mean you don't use plastic anymore?
"We still sell plastic bottles but we commit to recover non specific post consumer plastic in the same amount and process into buildings or energy so they don’t wind up in the ocean, etc."
What sparked this idea?
"At Hope, we realized that we did not immediately have good options to replace plastic bottles outside of the premium market and that the current problem was more that we were terribly mismanaging plastic especially at the post consumer levels."
What happened to ecobricking?
"Hope started planning in 2017 and executed on a partnership with GreenAntz to build its classrooms using ecobricks made with post consumer plastic. After realizing in 2018 that ecobricks alone would not achieve their desire to become plastic neutral, they started looking for a partner to process safely the balance of their plastic footprint so that they did their part to make sure post consumer plastic did not wind up in the oceans or in our food chain. We found this partner in Republic Cement (a CRH-Aboitiz Company), who was eager to help create a successful plastic neutral story to inspire others to rethink how we solve our plastic problem and address an important alternative fuel opportunity."
How are you enforcing the goal to be plastic neutral now?
"We found that non-specific post consumer recovery of plastic for all our sales was a way we could start. Hope now assigns a recovery surcharge for every bottle sold, which goes into a fund that is earmarked to be spent exclusively for recovering plastic after use. In 2018 and 2019, we are funding that recovery internally."
Republic Cement's CEO Francis Nabil adds, "Republic Cement is excited to partner with Generation Hope, Inc. to achieve their plastic neutral target by offsetting their plastic packaging materials consumption against post-consumer plastics co-processing at our cement kilns. The partnership of like-minded and environmentally responsible companies to promote and support responsible use and disposal of plastic packaging materials to reduce its harmful effects on the environment will contribute to a stronger and greener republic."
How can we participate?
"Hope has a recovery surcharge on every single bottle. The value of which is determined by the weight of the plastic in the packaging—this goes 100% to recovering post consumer plastic and pulling it out of harm's way. We are very excited to tell our plastic neutral story and hope to share our learning with any and all companies who would like to consider doing the same."
For more information about Hope's environmental causes, click here.