San Miguel Corp. to discontinue plastic bottled water business as part of sustainability efforts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17) — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced Sunday it is discontinuing its plastic bottled water line, "Purewater," as part of efforts to steer the company toward more environment-friendly operations.

"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," SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said.

The conglomerate said the move was part of initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, and goes in line with SMC's investments in sustainable businesses.

"As we've transformed to 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.

The Philippines is the third highest producer of plastic waste found in oceans. It produces 1.88 million metric tons of mismanaged waste per year, according to a 2015 study by the Science Journal.

READ: 'Dead whale' in Cavite aims to spread awareness on plastic pollution

Instead of selling bottled water, SMC will continue its "Purewater" brand through its investment in filtration technology.

This filtration system will be deployed during calamities so affected families will have access to safe drinking water.

Ang said the company is also focusing on the Bulacan Bulk Water project, a public-private partnership (PPP) that aims to help meet the increasing water demand in Bulacan.

Last March, the conglomerate also launched a separate "Water for all" program, where it committed to reducing water consumption across all its businesses by 50 percent by 2025.