Conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines) is proposing a roadmap that will enable policymakers to require plastic producers take responsibility for the whole life cycle of the plastics.
The report “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Scheme Assessment for Plastic Packaging Waste in the Philippines” proposes an industry-led, non-profit Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), acting as the system operator, with strict monitoring and control systems carried out by the government.
The report highlighted that in 2019, the number of plastic items consumed by Filipinos stood at 2.15 million tons per annum. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the consumed plastics leak into the open environment while 33% are disposed of in sanitary landfills and open dumpsites, with only 9% recycled because of the lack of capacity to recycle both high and low-value items.
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The Philippines has an existing solid waste management infrastructure such as Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF), junk shops, and recycling facilities that aims to recover recyclable wastes. However, the implementation has been delegated to the local government units.
“The battle against unnecessary plastics will be successful only if we have concerted effort from all stakeholders – supported by an enabling policy environment,” said Katherine Custodio, executive director, WWF-Philippines. “Let us therefore strengthen our call for the passing of EPR into law, with good implementation, so that we can stop plastic pollution together.”
For the past few years, EPR started gaining traction and support among the policymakers as the House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 9147 also known as the “Single-Use Plastic Products Regulation Act” as the proposed substitute bill for plastics that includes an introductory provision for EPR. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Senate Bill 2425 also known as the “Extended Producers Responsibility Act” is now on its Second Reading.
The proposed roadmap is part of the No Plastic in Nature Initiative – WWF’s global initiative to stop the flow of plastics entering nature by 2030 through the elimination of unnecessary plastics, doubling reuse, recycling, and recovery, and ensuring remaining plastic is sourced responsibly. Through this initiative, WWF-Philippines has been working with cities on plastic leakage, policymakers to advocate for a global treaty on plastic pollution and EPR, businesses to transition to circular business models, and the general public to campaign and act.
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