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PLDT, Smart and SM team up to ramp up e-waste recycling project in malls

Telco giant PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) partnered with the SM Group to ramp up their e-waste collection program that will reach 85 malls nationwide.

The partnership was launched yesterday, April 22, and unveiled the design for the bins that will be used to collect e-waste.  

The project will have the e-waste drop boxes in SM Cyberzone and in other areas, where people can dispose of their old or broken mobile phones, laptops, tablets, routers, cords, and chargers. The collected e-waste will be turned over to a disposal facility for treatment and storage. 

PLDT-Smart’s chief sustainability officer Melissa V. Vergel de Dios told PhilSTAR Tech that the program aims to address the environmental effects of technology evolution. 

The chief sustainability officer said that people replace their gadgets from time to time, and most of them do not know proper disposal. 

E-waste materials that are not properly treated lead to ‘leaching’, where the harmful effects of these materials bleed into the soil. 

“Hopefully we should be able to divert from landfill e-waste that would have contaminated our water sources and the soil. So this is a very responsible way of collecting,” Vergel de Dios said.

If the project becomes successful, Vergel de Dios shared that replication of the initiative by other organizations would help accomplish the goal of saving the environment together. 

“We might be competing in business, but in saving the environment, all of us have to work together,” she said.

Prior to this partnership, PLDT and Smart have partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the City Government of Baguio, and EcoWaste Coalition to level up localized efforts on proper e-waste management. 

Moreover, this collaboration between PLDT, Smart, and SM is aligned with the environment category under SM Cares’ Programs.