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PRRD has been asked to sign a bill requiring businesses to handle their plastic trash.

MANILA, Philippines — On Friday, a congressman requested that President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a bill that would hold producers and distributors accountable for the correct management and disposal of their plastic packaging trash.

The measure, which has been ratified by both chambers of Congress and sent to Malacanang for President Duterte’s signature, aims to improve the recycling or reuse of discarded plastic containers and packaging materials, as well as reduce waste generation, according to Camarines Sur Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte in a statement.

The bill aims to alter Republic Act (RA) 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“The bill institutionalizes the practice of EPR in waste management, which places the duty of correctly and effectively disposing of items after they have been sold to and consumed by consumers on producers, in conjunction with their distributors and retailers,” Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte, one of the bill’s authors, advocated incentives for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers that adopt procedures and strategies for the correct and effective management of waste generated by the use or consumption of the commodities they make, distribute, or sell to the general public.

“Despite the implementation of RA 9003, the Philippine government appears to be unable to solve our waste management problem,” Villafuerte remarked. “Proper segregation, ineffective collection, incorrect disposal, and inadequate facilities are all issues that have yet to be resolved.”

The bill aims to make EPR more institutionalized, particularly in companies that generate plastic waste.

EPR stands for environmental policy, initiatives, and practices that require businesses and corporations to be responsible for the proper and effective recovery, treatment, recycling, and disposal of their products after they have been sold and used by customers in order to improve environmental management.

“Some European Union (EU) member-countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Spain, are now using EPR systems,” he stated.

He advised that, in light of the EPR, makers, distributors, and retailers develop or adopt packaging to improve the recyclability or reusability of the plastic containers and packaging that they sell.

He also believes that non-recyclable products and packaging should be phased out over time in favor of ecologically friendly but economically viable alternatives.

He suggested that a system for retrieving plastic containers and packaging materials, as well as collection sites and recycling facilities, be established.

According to Deputy Speaker Camille Villar, the plan would hold firms accountable for recycling, which would be a critical step in addressing the country’s rising problem of plastic pollution.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Villar believes it is critical to enact the packaging responsibility or product stewardship law, as customers generate more single-use packaging and plastics from online transactions.

“The pandemic has also resulted in an increase in plastic use, thus compounding and worsening the situation.” “A joint effort and duty are required to approve a resolution that will decisively and effectively solve the current crisis,” Villar stated.

She pointed out that plastic garbage accounts for a considerable portion of the country’s total waste, and that the Philippines, after China and Indonesia, is the world’s third-largest polluter, producing 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste each year.

“Worse yet, plastic waste is likely to cause pollution and flooding in communities,” Villar continued.

According to her, the policy intends to strengthen producers’ accountability in the design, collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal of their products and packaging.

Firms that implement EPR procedures will also benefit from tax breaks, according to her.

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