The Quezon City government’s plastic waste trading program, Trash to Cashback, is set to be rolled out in the communities to intensify segregation and introduce the concept of recycling and a circular economy for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Trash to Cashback was first launched in Quezon City Hall in March, where the residents traded their recyclables into ‘environmental points’ (EPs) which in turn can be exchanged for basic commodities such as rice, eggs, vegetables and other essential grocery items.
“Together with our partner, Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies (BEST), we are bringing this project down to our barangays to make it more accessible and convenient to our residents who are willing to trade their recyclables into groceries. Hopefully, we can launch it by June in celebration of Environment month,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
Barangays will have to identify a drop-off point in their community, where residents can bring their recyclables in exchange for EPs. Aside from metal, papers, and PET bottles, single-use plastics (SUP) such as shampoo sachets, coffee packs, and even online shopping plastic packages will also be accepted in the drop-off points.
“The single-use plastics that we usually disregard like sachets and online shopping packagings are also included on the list of the recyclables that can be exchanged with EPs. This is part of our campaign to reduce plastic waste,” Mayor Belmonte added.
Once at the drop-off point, residents can choose whether they will keep the EPs for themselves or donate it to beneficiaries identified by the barangay from various sectors.
According to Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) head Andrea Villaroman, the barangay’s chosen beneficiaries will receive groceries or “incentive bag” from BEST in exchange of the accumulated EPs donated by the residents from their recyclables.
“The incentive bag will include rice, vegetables from our urban farms, and other necessities. We will ensure that these food packages and groceries will be given and distributed to those in need, especially the most vulnerable sectors of the city,” Villaroman explained.
Aside from barangays, the city is also planning to introduce the program to different establishments such as in malls, hotels, and restaurants.
“Like in our barangays, we are also encouraging malls, hotels, and restaurants to collect recyclables and donate their earned EPs to the communities in their areas. They don’t have to bring their recyclables in QC Hall. The city government and BEST will pick it up in their establishment’s drop-off point,” Villaroman said.
Accumulated EPs are converted into bXTRA cashback, which can be used to redeem grocery items from the mobile redemption store or bXTRA outlet and bXTRA food deliveries. Quezon City residents can register to the bXTRA Website through bXTRA.com.ph to start earning EPs. A complete list of partner stores and establishments can also be accessed at the bXTRA.com.ph and order products / services online via bXTRAoutlet.delivery.
The program is also part of the city’s campaign to reduce plastic waste, following the implementation of the plastic bag ban in March. Single-use plastics/disposable materials for dine-in transactions will also be prohibited starting on July 1, 2021.
A few days ago, the Trash to Cashback Program established a drop-off point at Barangay Socorro. The Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department and Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies, Inc. personnel collected recyclables and single-use plastics from residents.