Each day, plastics leak into the waters around the more than 7,500 islands of the Philippines, driven by rising production and consumption of single-use plastics. USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program is engaging across the Philippines to stop the flow of plastic pollution to the waters within and surrounding the country.

Engagement Sites

  • Metro Manila
    • In Las Piñas City, the program is partnering with the local government to enhance local waste systems and planning.
    • In Pasig City, the program is transforming local organics and single-use plastics into usable products, such as ocean and climate change friendly compost and eco-bricks, through a community “Eco Hub.”
    • In Parañaque City, a new USAID-supported Circular Center collects and enables low-value plastics and other waste to be made into new recycled plastic goods, creates jobs for local women, and serves as a community education center.
    • In Manila City, the program is supporting women owned sari-sari convenience store owners to earn additional income as local “waste to cash” stations that buy plastic waste from the community and put it back into a developing local circular economy. Program partners are also building local government capacity and helping local waste collectors to establish profitable, sustainable waste businesses.
  • In Tingloy, Batangas, the program is working with the local government to review local solid waste management plans and identify new markets for recycled plastic.
  • In Iloilo City, the program is building the capacity of waste collectors and aggregators, while helping the local government to implement and monitor new waste management strategies.

Clean Cities, Blue Ocean is also implementing a grant in Puerto Princesa, Palawan to professionalize informal waste collection to improve safety, livelihoods, and the environmental contributions of local “Eco Warriors,” who provide essential community waste collection services.

Program Grantees

  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS) partnered with the program to build local (barangay and city) government and private sector capacity for effective solid waste management through trainings covering SWM policy, strategies, waste analysis and characterization studies, and solid waste planning–while supporting communities in the adoption of more sustainable waste management and reduce, reuse, and recycle (the 3Rs) practices.
  • Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA) is establishing a new “Circular Center” located within an existing city material recovery facility that is currently limited in processing large volumes of recyclable materials. CORA is also piloting a Circular Center model to capture and give new life to plastics and other waste gathered from regular beach clean-ups, as well as from local households and businesses, as a model that can be adopted by and scaled to other cities.
  • EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) supports the program’s Women in Waste’s Economic Empowerment Activity to empower women both at the lowest rungs of the SWM value chain and those working in upcycling by providing training in business, gender and personal empowerment skills, access to financing to start or expand SWM/3R business, and continued mentoring and coaching.
  • Green Antz is addressing plastic pollution by improving the collection, segregation, sorting and recycling systems at the barangay level. The project is building an integrated waste management system through the establishment of a community EcoHub, capable of processing organics and single use plastics to turn them into usable products and managed by a team of employed community facility and collection staff.
  • Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) is piloting its Aling Tindera Network model to address plastic waste in the City of Manila. The project is establishing ten Aling Tindera stations by engaging women micro-entrepreneurs who own sari sari stores–small, home-based convenience stores. The sari saris serve as community collection points for plastic waste where community members can bring and sell their plastic in exchange for cash. Sari sari stores are fully equipped with container vans, scales, and balers to condense the plastic–preparing it for PCXs offtake partners who will recycle and transform the plastic waste.
  • Project Zacchaeus (PZC) is working with sixty waste collectors from the community of Barangay Bancao-Bancao, which has over the last years provided critical waste management services for the area with little resources and representation. Through USAID’s grant, Project Eco-Kolek engages waste collectors in training on proper waste management, health and safety, and–most of all– leadership skills that can empower the waste collectors and will emphasize their important role in the community.
  • Pure Oceans is conducting a review on municipal waste and recyclable management systems and map the value chain to identify existing and potential markets for plastics. They are also supporting the municipal local government units by reviewing their 10-year SWM plans, refining gender-sensitive SWM program implementation and budget plans, and strengthening their governance capacity.

Activities and Impacts

In the Philippines, program impacts (to date) include:

  • Over 30 tons of plastic and other low-value waste secured from leaking into the environment through recovery efforts that diverted material from landfills, while supporting local livelihoods and building circular economies.
  • Over 425 individuals trained from local government, informal waste sector, and local organizations to build local capacity for solid waste management planning and programs.
  • Partnerships formed with local government units and groups including the Metro Manila Development Authority and World Bank to develop long-term city waste plans, strengthening local systems and building the Philippines’ resiliency.
  • Over $1 million in grant funding awarded to local partners to implement effective, locally-led solutions.

Women in Waste’s Economic Empowerment Activity

In the Philippines, the program’s Women in Waste’s Economic Empowerment (WWEE) Activity works to empower women at the lowest rungs of the solid waste and recycling sectors to establish or expand their waste livelihoods and businesses. Learn more.

visualization of WEE activity