SMC cuts plastic bottling unit

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Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said over the weekend it will discontinue its plastic bottled water line under the Purewater brand in a bid to reduce its environmental footprint. 

San Miguel said in a statement the move was in line with the strategy to promote sustainability across its various businesses.

“The plastic bottled water business has given us good returns, but we are choosing to forego it in favor of our long-term sustainability goals,” San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.

“As we’ve transformed into a diversified business with interests in critical industries like power, infrastructure, public utilities and fuels, we realize we have a much bigger role to play in tackling the most pressing social and environmental issues,” Ang said.

Ramon Ang

Ang said while the conglomerate would discontinue its plastic bottle water line, the “Purewater” brand would continue through San Miguel’s investment in filtration technology that would be deployed during calamities to make safe drinking water available to displaced and affected families in lieu of environmentally unsustainable bottled water.

“Leaving a business like the plastic water bottle business while at the same time helping build the basic right of all Filipinos to safe and affordable fresh water is a big step to a sustainable future,” the conglomerate said.

San Miguel announced in March its most ambitious sustainability program by cutting domestic and utility use of water by 50 percent by 2025.

San Miguel said it would roll out an integrated water management system across its entire operations.

Water is an essential ingredient to many of San Miguel’s brands. For instance, beer is 90-percent water, and liquor is around 85-percent water.

San Miguel said to implement the ambitious plan, it would minimize the amount of water it draws from ground water sources and would also reuse and recycle process water and harvest rainwater.

The company said it could also utilize surface runoff water (usually excess stormwater) from mountains, creeks and rivers and filter and store these for irrigation.

San Miguel is currently developing the P16-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Project.

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