Proposed Philippine bill targets single-use plastic waste


On May 7, 2023, the Editorial Board of the Manila Times published an editorial outlining concerns about the management of solid waste in the Philippines and encouraging Filipinos to “have more policy discussions on improving the management of solid wastes in the country.” The Board brought up three measures already on the books in the Philippines: The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, the Philippine Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production, and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022.

The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act is seen as deficient, as plastic waste continues to be a pervasive problem due to the lack of capacity of the nation’s infrastructure. According to the World Bank, the Philippines generates 2.7 million tons of plastic waste annually, with an estimated 20% ending up in the ocean. The government’s Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production “is designed to promote sustainable practices and behaviors across sectors and throughout government” and the editorial board call for “an early review of how those plans can be implemented faster.”

Meanwhile, the Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022, scheduled to go into effect later this year, is considered “a positive note.” However, “the EPR law does not apply to 99.6 percent of registered firms, [the] micro, small, and medium enterprises” (FPF reported).

In April 2023, The Manila Bulletin reported that Paulo Duterte of the Philippines House of Representatives is still pushing to pass the single-use plastics bill he introduced on July 26, 2022. House Bill (HB) No.507 would “regulate the manufacture, sale, use, and importation of single-use plastic products… [as well as] the distribution, recovery, collection, recycling, and disposal.” The bill would thus, “develop an integrated and comprehensive policy for plastic waste management,” said Duterte. Further highlighting that while the House of Representatives has approved an excise tax on single-use plastic bags, HB 507 includes packaging, utensils, and other common single-use items.

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FPF, 17-05-23