Cemex lauds passage of EPR Law in Philippines

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Cemex, one of the world’s leading building materials companies, welcomes the passage of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Law in the Philippines.

The Philippines is one of the largest contributors of mismanaged plastics that end up in either landfills or waterways. In the recent onslaught of Super Typhoon Karding in Luzon, debris of plastic wastes were found in the beach area of Manila Bay. Through the years, the government has been implementing strategies to address the challenges of plastic waste management such as the implementation of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which is an integrated solid waste management approach based on the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).

Recently, the government took another step in addressing the country’s plastic waste problem by passing Republic Act 11898, or the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Act. This law requires large companies to recover the plastic packaging waste they are producing, meaning; these enterprises are mandated to be environmentally responsible throughout the life cycle of their products, especially at their post-consumer or end-of-life stage. Covered companies or enterprises should recover wastes they produced through buy-back, collection for reuse/recycling, cleanup of wastes, establishment of recycling, composting, thermal treatment, and other waste diversion or disposal facilities.

Beginning Dec. 31, 2023, covered companies are required to recover at least 20 percent of their plastic footprint in 2022. The rate of recovery increases every year until it reaches 80 percent recovery rate on Dec. 31, 2028 and every year thereafter. The failure to implement recovery measures will be penalized through fines ranging from P5 million to P20 million.

“Cemex sees this landmark legislation as a positive way forward in addressing the country’s waste problems. Even prior to the passage of the EPR law, Cemex Philippines through our Solid Cement plant in  Antipolo, Rizal and Apo Cement plant in Naga, Cebu, have already been supporting several companies in their plastic neutrality and waste diversion programs through co-processing,” said Luis Franco, Cemex Philippines president and CEO.

Co-processing is a solution that converts residual wastes such as plastics into alternative fuels for cement kilns that forms part of the process in making cement. With co-processing, this avoids methane emissions in landfills since non-recyclable wastes are redirected instead to cement kilns. Methane has a global warming potential of 80x higher than CO2 in the first 20 years of release. Co-processing is a sustainable solution and supports circular economy making it a perfect solution for EPR compliance not just at 20 percent recovery rate but even as high as 100 percent recovery thereby achieving the plastic neutrality goal of covered companies in the EPR law.  This makes the Philippines at par with countries like Australia, Japan, and some countries in Europe which have similar legislation that addresses plastic consumption.

“We take earnest steps in supporting the government and in making sure we are drivers of the circular economy. Our co-processing technology allows the increased use of wastes as alternative fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Franco added.


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