Dell x EcoNest: How EcoNest Philippines helps people live sustainably one cassava bag at a time
The EcoNest Team
The Philippines lags far behind much of the world when it comes to environmental sustainability. Out of 180 countries, the Philippines placed 158th in the biennial Environmental Performance Index this year, which ranks countries based on their progress towards improving environmental health, protecting the ecosystem, and fighting climate change.
Unfortunately, our country is still addicted to single-use plastic, dumping at least 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste each year. To make things worse, we only recycle 9% of the plastics we use.
If we want to accelerate our progress toward environmental sustainability, we must pick up the pace.
Fortunately, there are companies like EcoNest Philippines that not only create sustainable products but also deliberately influence other people and organizations to live sustainably. Here’s how EcoNest does it.
A one-stop shop for truly sustainable products
The idea for EcoNest was born when Nikki Sevilla, EcoNest’s co-founder, tried to join a bazaar that prohibited the use of plastic packaging. “I searched for green packaging items in the local supermarkets and was disappointed to see that the majority of materials marketed as ‘eco’ are still made of plastic,” Nikki says.
At that time, her partner and EcoNest co-founder Joshua Caampued began researching innovations used in other markets that they could adopt, such as cassava bags that dissolve in hot water, sugarcane bagasse containers, and bamboo cups, among others.
EcoNest’s Cassabag is a plastic-free cassava bag that dissolves in hot water to help reduce waste.
Today, it’s the leading distributor of environment-friendly and technologically advanced packaging solutions such as its cassava bags called CassaBag, kraft eco cups and straws, birchwood eco cutlery, and sugarcane bagasse containers. It has supplied these to over 1,000 MSMEs and corporations who share their passion for developing a greener future and protecting our planet.
Beyond selling sustainable packaging, EcoNest is committed to alleviating the consequences of plastic and chemical waste through its three brand pillars: Prevent, Cure, and Sustain.
Prevent means reducing dependence on petroleum-based packaging by encouraging businesses to use eco-friendly materials like cassava bags. The second brand pillar, Cure, means educating and guiding stakeholders on switching to environmentally friendly solutions and practices. Lastly, Sustain involves urging their business partners to further pursue sustainability by getting their customers and employees involved.
In the past three years, EcoNest has prevented over 70 tons of plastic packaging from occupying our landfills and polluting the environment by distributing compostable packaging items nationwide. They have also conducted more than 30 webinars and talks about sustainable packaging with 50,000 participants and encouraged over 80 individuals to take the Net Zero By 2050 Pledge and give up single-use plastic.
A tech ally for a challenging mission
Nikki admits EcoNest has a challenging mission. Eco-friendly products, in general, could be more cost-efficient, and educating the market is not easy.
“Promoting and selling your products while educating the market is not a walk in the park,” she says. “It’s challenging to introduce a new product to a market that is so used to using plastics and cheap packaging without considering their impact down the line. It can really affect one’s morale if you’re not up for the task.”