MANILA, Philippines, 17 January 2024 — Consumers across Metro Manila can now drop off their empty PET bottles for recycling at over 2,200 sari-sari stores and carinderias. This initiative, the Tindahan Extra Mile (TEM): Balik PET Bottle Program of Coca-Cola Philippines and Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST), not only extends the life of these bottles but also offers financial incentives for store owners.
Promoting environmental sustainability while earning incentives
How does this work? TEM collection bins are positioned in front of sari-sari stores and carinderias where consumers can conveniently drop off their empty bottles and cans for recycling. After collection, PET bottles are weighed at each store and recorded in the store owner's bXTRA app account. Store owners earn points that can be exchanged for cash back depending on the number of bottles acquired in a month. They can choose to withdraw the points as cash or use them to acquire Coca-Cola products and merchandise.
TEM collection bins are placed in front of sari-sari stores and carinderias.
Here, consumers can drop their empty bottles and cans for recycling.
“Malaking tulong sa amin ‘tong programa, kaya salamat talaga sa Coca-Cola. Kumikita na kami, nakatutulong pa kami sa kalikasan (We are grateful to Coca-Cola because this program is a big help to us. We are earning while also helping the environment),” said Carolina Catimbang, a store owner in Brgy. West Bicutan.
Store owner Lolita Repia said Coca-Cola Philippines and BEST’s Tindahan Extra Mile Program has helped her grow her business and increase her income while contributing to the cleanliness of her community.
When asked about her inspiration in joining the TEM Program, Lolita Repia, another store owner, shared, “Ang naging inspirasyon ko sa pagsali sa programa ay ang pag-recycle. Ginagawa ko na ‘yun dati pa, nagbebenta ako ng mga bote sa junk shop (My inspiration for joining the program is recycling. I've been doing that for a while; I sell bottles directly to junk shops).
“Pero ngayon, mas excited akong gawin ito dahil alam kong ‘yung mga bote na kinokolekta ko, magiging bote ulit. Masaya akong nakakatulong sa kapaligiran (But now, I'm more excited to do this because I know that the bottles I collect will become bottles again. I am happy to contribute to the environment), she added.
Inspiring collective action toward recycling
“Noong una sinasabihan namin ‘yung mga bumibili dito na kapag bumili sila ng Coke products, itapon nila ‘yung PET bottles sa bins. Ngayon, automatic na, eh (At first, we used to tell our customers that when they buy Coke products, they should throw the PET bottles into the bins. Now, it’s automatic),” shared Catimbang who noticed the easy cooperation of their customers in their recycling efforts.
Carolina Catimbang showing Coca-Cola products sold at her store.
The packaging of these products are made from 100% recycled plastic.
“Kahit ‘yung jeepney drivers na customer namin, ‘yung trash nila, minsan sila na rin nagkukusang maglagay sa bins. Kaya minsan nagugulat ako, ang dami na (Even the jeepney drivers, who are our customers, willingly put their trash in the bins. That’s why sometimes I get surprised that our bins are filled with empty bottles),” she added.
For PASCO National President Elilyn Gadia and National Treasurer Emma Alvarez, the TEM Program help adults become better examples to children. “Dapat nakikita ng mga bata sa mga magulang nila ‘yung pag-segregate ng basura at paglilinis ng kapaligiran. Natutuwa kami ‘pag may nakikita silang PET bottle sa daan, pinupulot nila (Children should see their parents segregating waste and cleaning their surroundings. We are happy to see children picking up empty bottles on the road).
Gadia and Alvarez said they are happy to see TEM Program members growing with the help of Coca-Cola Philippines, especially as sari-sari stores and carinderia owners continue to recover from the income loss during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advancing circularity of plastic packaging
For 2024, Coca-Cola Philippines announces that it is expanding the Tindahan Extra Mile program to 2,400 stores.
“We are one with Coca-Cola Philippines in ensuring that our bottles can have many lives by bringing our collected PET Bottles from Sari-Sari Stores to PETValue Philippines, a first of its kind,” said Jan Vincent Mercado, Senior Vice President for Business Development of BEST. “Our commitment to sustainability and waste innovation comes full circle through this partnership. Indeed, it is refreshing to walk the talk in circularity,” he added.
Members of BEST delivering collected bottles through the Tindahan Extra Mile program
to the PETValue facility in Cavite
In September 2023, Coca-Cola Philippines launched its consumer engagement program, ‘May Ikabobote Pa’, to educate, inspire, and engage more consumers to return their empty bottles and cans so they can be recycled and turned into new materials. Through this, the company hopes to inspire behavior change among consumers and empower like-minded organizations and communities to continue working together to prevent plastic waste from ending up in places where they are not supposed to be.
To advance the circularity of plastic packaging, Coca-Cola Philippines introduced new bottles made from 100% recycled PET plastic. This packaging innovation is now available in Coca-Cola Original (190ml), Wilkins Pure (500ml), and Sprite 500ml. These bottles can be recycled many times, significantly reducing the volume of virgin plastics created and used.
Consumers can locate the nearest collection points and discover more about Coca-Cola Philippines’ recycling initiatives through the Coca-Cola Sustainability Hub.