WWF-Philippines continues to push for Extended Producers Responsibility Scheme

 

An Extended Producers Responsibility
roadmap was released by conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature
Philippines (WWF-Philippines) on Thursday, highlighting the substantial impact
of plastics in our environment and how adopting the EPR scheme can effectively change this worsening
plastic problem.

 

The updated report entitled “Extended
Producer Responsibility (EPR) Scheme Assessment for Plastic Packaging Waste in
the Philippines”, WWF-Philippines proposes an EPR scheme where the responsibility
of implementing the scheme for building high-quality recycling capacity should
be assumed by 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.

 


In the first edition of the EPR study, it
was shown that in 2019, the number of plastic items consumed by Filipinos was
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 our lack of capacity to
recycle both high and low-value plastics.

 

WWF-Philippines pushes for an EPR scheme as
a critical policy tool that holds producers accountable for the full life cycle
of their products and packaging. EPR is an environmental policy approach that
emerged in the 1990s and is now increasingly recognized globally as a useful
tool for accelerating the transition to sustainable waste management and a
circular economy. This scheme encourages waste reduction through the
elimination of unnecessary packaging of products and the development of more
environmentally friendly packaging design.

 

“We must take collective and immediate
action. The proposed EPR scheme aims to build on the country’s current waste
management system, integrating ongoing actions, and have collaborative action
from various stakeholder groups. This way, we can stop plastic waste leakage in
our nature.” says Czarina Constantino, WWF-Philippines’ National Lead for
the No Plastics in Nature Initiative.

 


The
proposed EPR roadmap incorporates the existing country’s solid waste management
infrastructure such as Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF), junk shops, and recycling
facilities that aims to recover recyclable wastes. The informal waste sector,
an important contributor to the Philippines’ recycling rate, has also been
integrated into the EPR system. Initiatives from the businesses and civil
society organizations have been included.

 

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 battle against unnecessary plastics
will be successful only if we have concerted effort from all stakeholders –
supported by an enabling policy environment. Let us therefore strengthen our
call for the passing of EPR into law, with good implementation, so that we can
stop plastic pollution together,” says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines
Executive Director.

 

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.

 

To know more about WWF-Philippines and its
initiatives, please visit https://wwf.org.ph/

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