MANILA, Philippines – According to a 2021 study by Science Advances, the Philippines is the #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, conservation and preservation of the Philippine seas are top priorities for the government.
On World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2023, 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.
“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,” Dr. Marjorie Ramos, PCEDM President, said.
As of 2021, there are over 4 million total cases of diabetes among Filipino adults, and a portion of whom use insulin pens for treatment. Together with other plastic waste, insulin pens may end up in landfills and get thrown into the ocean, if improperly disposed.
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.
While there are currently 10 PCEDM-accredited training hospitals, including the Philippine General Hospital, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, and the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, in Metro Manila and Cavite, PCEDM and Sanofi are looking to expand the project to more hospitals to cater to more patients.
“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 at 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 starting this December.