MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As part of its Environmental Programs on Solid Waste Management, SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, recently deployed special recycling booths in two of the biggest SM malls in the country, providing mall-goers with a fun and convenient way of disposing of their recyclable plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
Through the Reverse Vending Machine of SM Cares called “Eco Vendo,” a first of its kind in the private sector, SM mall goers can enjoy special discounts in exchange for their PET bottles and aluminum cans. To participate, they can simply deposit these recyclable items in the specially designed vending machines located in specific areas in select SM malls.
For every 1,000 mL worth of polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles and/or aluminum soda cans deposited, the customer can choose one of the following reward discounts: 15% off at SM Skating, or 15% off at SM Bowling. The machine will then print a voucher that the customer can use to redeem their discount. Customers can use one discount per transaction, and it must be claimed within 60 days from date of issuance, from Monday to Thursday in the following branches: SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, and SM Fairview (for SM Bowling); and SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia (for SM Skating). Or, if the recycled items are less than 1,000 mL, proceeds will automatically go to SM Cares, which will support its various programs.
SM Cares deployed one Eco Vendo each in SM Mall of Asia and SM Megamall, which will be available from January 20 to April 20, 2023. These can be found in the following locations: SM Cinema, 3F Building A, SM Megamall (near Snack Time counter) & SM Cinema, 2F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia (near Snack Time counter).
“With the continued degradation of our environment due to the global waste crisis, we need to ramp up our efforts to mitigate it. Every little thing counts,” said Program Director for SM Environment and Sustainability Engr. Liza Silerio. “Through our Reverse Vending Machine project, we want to communicate to our mall-goers that properly disposing of even just one plastic bottle already makes a difference.”
“By doing this, participants can also avail of rewards they won’t get anywhere else. But of course, nothing can be as rewarding as everyone being able to enjoy their right to a healthy environment,” she added.
Other sustainability projects of SM Cares include the Trash-To-Cash Market where individuals can drop off their recyclable waste such as paper and plastic in exchange for cash, the Plastic Waste Collection Program in partnership with NGO HOPE that aims to help redirect plastic waste from ending up in landfills, and the Electronic Waste Collection Program where individuals can bring in their old gadgets and other e-waste for proper disposal by accredited hazardous waste collection partners, just to name a few.
These initiatives align with many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including “SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation,” “SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities,” “SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production,” “SDG 13: Climate Action,” and “SDG 14: Life Below Water.”