MANILA -- Philippine households generate about 40,000 tons of waste per day, enough to fill up to 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools every single day.
Of this volume, 50 percent can be composted, while 25 percent, which are made up of plastics, are recyclable.
For Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, the waste is not the problem, but rather, it is the Filipinos' lack of discipline to segregate and reduce waste.
"The real problem is the people. The plastic people. These are the problem of the country and we're addressing it; at the same time we're trying to come up also with minimizing the use of plastic," he said.
He also noted that because of a lack of information and awareness, most solid wastes are contaminated due to mixing of wastes.
"Sad to say without a proper information and awareness of the people, most of our solid waste are contaminated because of the mixed waste and what we're trying to push right now is a proper outsourced segregation. So we need to push for more information and education campaign so that people will know how to make this into something useful," Antiporda added.
Multinational company Geocycle is working with the Philippine government to make its waste management more sustainable. It uses state-of-the-art technology to process collected waste from households and convert them into cement.
Geocycle's project manager Alan Cuyno said achieving a zero-waste future all starts with the community.
"It's a consolidated effort, everyone should pitch in. First and foremost we already have a law on solid waste management which says segregation at source should be done on a very simple layman's term," he said.
"Next should be the discipline of all the households really doing the segregation... I would say the full value chain on the waste management business, each and every step should be addressed properly," Cuyno added.