The conduct of Waste and Brand Audits has been proven to be crucial not only for the development of a community’s solid waste management plan. It has also been a key component of various organizations’ corporate campaigning work.
The data gathered from a WABA forms an evidenced-based call for corporate responsibility and accountability toward corporate innovations in product packaging and in piloting alternative distribution systems. Such was the case when in September 2017, #breakfreefromplastic member organizations in the Philippines gathered for an unprecedented 9-day brand audit in the Freedom Island situated in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).
Last year, this was replicated during World Environment Day in India when ten member organizations of GAIA in India conducted brand audits in eighteen states in a period of 21 days.
This brand audit proved to be the opening salvo for the 240 brand audits conducted in 42 countries in the months that followed.
These globally-coordinated brand audits have put much-needed pressure to the top corporate plastic polluters and the petrochemical industries responsible for the production of single-use low-value plastics, to be accountable for the “branded pollution” that they have been causing. It has also emboldened the Break Free From Plastic movement to issue a Corporate Leadership Challenge in October last year.
Moreover, brand audits have been mobilizing citizen action and public awareness in identifying the real culprits behind the plastic pollution crisis. The industry has long been peddling the narrative that consumers and their behavior are the ones to be blamed while passing the burden of managing plastic wastes to governments through the money of taxpayers.