Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar welcomed the approval of a consolidated measure designed to hold companies responsible for recycling to address the growing problem of plastic pollution in the country.
Villar cited the need for Congress to pass the packaging responsibility or product stewardship bill, also known as the “extended producer responsibility (EPR)” as consumers generate more single-use packaging and plastics from online purchases amid the pandemic.
Currently, plastic waste makes up a significant share of the overall generated waste in the Philippines. Based on reports, the Philippines is the third biggest polluter next to China and Indonesia and produces some 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste each year.
“Worse, plastic waste is likely to aggravate pollution and worsen flooding in communities,” Villar added.
Villar filed last year House Bill 10498 that proposes to institutionalize the practice of EPR in waste management and to improve the responsibility of producers in the design, collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal of their products and packaging.
EPR refers to the environmental policy, initiatives, and practices in which companies and corporations are obliged to have the responsibility of proper and effective recovery, treatment, recycling and disposal of their products after they have been sold and used by consumers aimed at improving ecological management.
Tax perks also await firms that put in place EPR mechanisms.
Villar also appealed to her fellow legislators to support the proposed legislation.
“I have faith that this important bill is comprehensive enough to address plastic and solid waste management in the country. May I then sincerely seek the support of the members of the Committee and the stakeholders present for the passage of this proposed measure,” Villar said.