News Release


Providing design solutions to growing packaging challenges and concerns.  

The Philippines, with a population of over 100 million, is producing over 21 million metric tons of containers and packaging waste every year. The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) reports that the average Filipino generates 0.40 kg, or close to half a kilo of waste per day for both urban and rural areas, way beyond the country’s solid waste management capacity. 

Understanding the urgent need for design-driven solutions to reduce, if not end, packaging waste, the Design Center of the Philippines developed an integrated approach to bio-based packaging in a circular economy where waste becomes the material for new products; and future value is created by keeping materials within the economy by continuously reusing it. While the waste management hierarchy sets a clear sequence of actions to deal with waste in the best way, e.g., reuse, recycle, recover, and landfill, a circular economy model focuses on preventing waste and pollution from being created in the first place.  

This is the direction Design Center Executive Director Rhea Matute takes in solving plastic pollution and agricultural waste in the Philippines, while providing livelihood to local farming communities – all at the same time.  

Matute emphasized that circularity begins with design.  In a study conducted by the European Parliament in 2017 – 2018, they determined that 80% of environmental pollution and 90% of manufacturing costs are the results decisions taken at the product development stage.  She also highlighted the important role of designers in developing products and systems of the future, “Being a responsible designer demands that we do not only design products, but it’s also imperative that we design the future of the products, and as we design future of products, we’re likewise reimagining, redesigning productions systems as well as the materials we use. This is one of the very important decisions we make as designers is the material we use.” 

At the recently concluded PINYAPEL Exhibition at PMG Market 2.0: An Innovation and Sustainability Expo held at the SMX Aura in Taguig City on 03-04 August 2022, the Design Center takes pride in its SMART Materials Development Program by mounting one of the agency’s most important and celebrated innovations, the Pinyapel and its wide range of applications –  from packaging, paper, fashion/apparel to home and objects applications – as a commercially viable business opportunity that repurposes pineapple waste. Pinyapel is a 100% natural treeless paper from discarded pineapple leaves and is used to produce corrugated paper cups, cup sleeves, gift bags, boxes, and paper shopping bags. It is water-resistant and can be in direct contact with food and drinks making it an ideal material for takeaway containers used for coffee, French fries, churros, and chips, among others.  

Ideatechs Packaging Corp., one of the Pinyapel’s pioneering partners, developed the initial collection for food and beverage packaging applications and they now carry the Pinyapel logo and tagline in its Pinyapel collection. 

Pinyapel may also be used for sustainable footwear. Lakat shoes, made from Philippine tropical fabrics using pineapple fibers, were among the favorites during the expo, “What attracted me to Pinyapel straight away is that every time you show off your pair of shoes, you have a story to tell.  

That’s what makes it so special. You’ve taken waste. You’ve turned it out into a marvelous piece, and you are providing livelihoods. You’ve re-engineered it (pinyapel) to a very normal, natural product, which is making a fashion statement by itself and in return, giving livelihood to so many farmers.” PMGs Client Servicing Head for the APAC region, Mohita Gulati explained.   

Capitalizing on the Philippines as the world’s 2nd largest producer of pineapple, Pinyapel is locally sourced, locally manufactured, and 100% biodegradable.  It is the Design Center’s response to the agri-waste generated from the production of pineapple fruits while helping maximize the monetary gains of pineapple farmers. Check out the Pinyapel look book here: 

The PMG Market 2.0 was hosted by PMG Philippines and was attended by PMG’s local clients such as Nestle Philippines, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI), Coca-Cola Far East Limited (CCFEL), Sanofi, and Opella, and L’Oreal Philippines. PMG counterparts from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, and Japan also attended the event to assess sustainable products and processes that can be adopted for commercialization in their respective markets.  

The Design Center of the Philippines is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) committed to developing a creative research and development program on product design and development.  Learn more about the Design Center and its programs at

Lakat Shoes in Olive Green by Creative Definitions, paper cups, food holder by Ideatechs Packaging (Photos are from the Pinyapel Lookbook) 

Food holder by Ideatechs Packaging (Photos are from the Pinyapel Lookbook) 

Lakat shoes in Black by Creative Definitions (Photos are from the Pinyapel Lookbook) 

In Photos: Origami Packaging (for take-out), paper cups and churos & fries holders by Ideatechs Packaging (Photos are from the Pinyapel Lookbook) 

Lakat shoes in Natural by Creative Definitions (Photos are from the Pinyapel Lookbook) 

Executive Director Rhea Matute talks about Pinyapel, a natural treeless paper from discarded pineapple leaves that produces paper cups, cup sleeves, gift bags, boxes, and paper shopping bags. 

Design Center Exec. Director Rhea Matute with the Research Team during PMG Market 2.0: An Innovation and Sustainability Expo.


DIYARYO MILENYO is a free and independent online media outfit that publishes events happening in the local communities and current issues that matter to the public with local, national and global implications. DIYARYO MILENYO is composed of volunteer journalists and community writers scattered in various parts of the Philippines. They report the news right and where it happens. It adheres to the standards and ethics of journalism. It imposes strict rules against attacking someone. Strictly adhering to publish good news only.


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