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Sanofi, PCEDM team up to reduce environmental footprint | Philstar.com
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Sanofi, PCEDM team up to reduce environmental footprint

Dolly Dy-Zulueta - Philstar.com
Sanofi, PCEDM team up to reduce environmental footprint
Sanofi Philippines Legal Director Atty. Jazel Calvo-Carino, Sanofi Philippines Head of Procurement Anthony Edward Ty, PCEDM Secretary Dr. Lora May Tan-Tin Hay, PCEDM President Dr. Marjorie A. Ramos, and Sanofi Philippines Corporate Affairs Head Eric Sajor III showcasing the collection bin to be used to hold discarded insulin pens.
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is known the world over for a number of positive things, yet there are also certain negative things that have sadly been closely associated with the country.

For one, a 2021 study by Science Advances shows that the Philippines is the No. 1 country contributing to ocean plastic, with an estimated ocean plastic waste generation of over 350,000 metric tons.

Since the country is dependent on marine biodiversity for food, tourism, and livelihood, it is important to make drastic moves to reduce ocean plastic waste generation and work towards the conservation and preservation of the Philippine seas.

And so, last November 14, which was World Diabetes Day, global innovative healthcare company Sanofi and the Philippine College of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (PCEDM) signed a partnership agreement to further implement plastic waste management in their operations, and support the government’s environmental priorities through the Responsible DisPENsing project.

Why particularly Sanofi and PCEDM, and what has diabetes got to do with plastic waste management? It is because of the diabetes situation existing in the Philippines today. As of 2021, there are over 4 million total cases of diabetes among Filipino adults, and a sizable portion of this staggering number of diabetic Filipinos uses insulin pens for treatment. Insulin pens are used by patients to inject just the right dose of insulin into the body. If improperly disposed, these insulin pens, just like other plastic waste, may end up in landfills and somehow find their way into the ocean.

Through the Responsible DisPENsing project, people with diabetes who use insulin pens will now be able to drop off their empty pens in designated collection bins at any PCEDM-accredited hospital. These discarded pens will then be collected and downcycled into eco-bricks that can be used for the construction of garden pathways and pavements.

“PCEDM and Sanofi believe that environmental sustainability is a collective effort. We aim to lessen the amount of waste from healthcare products, and give used insulin pens a new purpose through a simple yet effective process, which is a great way to start,” said Dr. Marjorie Ramos, PCEDM President.

There are currently 10 PCEDM-accredited training hospitals, including Philippine General Hospital, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, and University of Santo Tomas Hospital, in Metro Manila and Cavite. PCEDM and Sanofi, though, are looking to expand the project to more hospitals so that it will be more convenient for patients with diabetes to drop off their used insulin pens. Collection will thus be more efficient.

“At Sanofi, our dedication to improving people’s lives goes beyond innovations in healthcare,” said Janet Yap, Country Lead and General Manager, General Medicines Foundation, Sanofi Philippines. “As a global organization, we also take active responsibility in caring for our planet as much as we can. With PCEDM and through the Responsible DisPENsing project, we hope to contribute to the protection of our marine biodiversity by reducing our environmental footprint.”

You can drop off your empty insulin pens at any PCEDM-accredited hospital.

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