Senate ratifies report harmonizing bills on the management of waste plastic packaging

Senate ratifies report harmonizing bills on the management of waste plastic packaging

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — The Senate on Monday ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of bills institutionalizing the mechanism of extended producers’ responsibility (EPR) on waste plastic packaging.

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change, during the Senate plenary session, pushed for the ratification of the report on Senate Bill No. 2425 and House Bill No. 10696.

Villar said the bill will institutionalize EPR as a practical policy approach to efficient waste management.

“The proposed legislation focuses on waste reduction, recovery and recycling and the development of environment-friendly products that advocates the internationally-accepted principle on sustainable consumption and production, circular economy and producers’ full responsibility throughout the life cycle of their products,” Villar said in her sponsorship speech.

She said EPR mandates large enterprises also referred to as obliged enterprises, to establish or phase-in programs for the plastic packaging of their products in order to efficiently manage plastic packaging waste and reduce the production, importation, supply or use of plastic packaging.

“The obliged enterprises may voluntarily organize themselves to form or authorize a producer responsibility organization for the purpose of establishing a viable platform to implement their EPR program,” Villar said.

Under the reconciled version of the two bills, target dates were set for the recovery of plastic product footprint generated during the immediately preceding year upon the effectivity of the act as follows:

• 20 percent by December 31, 2023;

• 40 percent by December 31, 2024;

• 50 percent by December 31, 2025;

• 60 percent by December 31, 2026;

• 70 percent by December 31, 2027;

• 80 percent by December 31, 2028; and every year thereafter.

For this purpose, obliged enterprises are also mandated to submit the report of their compliance including appropriate documentation to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (ai/mtvn)

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