This file photo shows a man wading through the sea of trash.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Pangilinan seeks ban on single-use plastic
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - July 4, 2019 - 5:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is waging a war on single-use plastic products.

Pangilinan filed Senate Bill 40 or the “Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2019,” which seeks to ban the importation, manufacture and use of single-use plastics.

“The mismanaged plastic waste per day is due to the sachet economy of the country and its problematic waste disposal. The sachet economy occurs because people buy many products in small amounts because they are cheaper,” the bill’s explanatory note said.

The bill proposes to curb this behavior through discounts for consumers who bring reusable containers for the products.

The proposed law aims to penalize those who will not enforce it, while those who reuse and recycle will receive an incentive.

Retailers shall charge consumers a minimum levy of P5 for each piece of single-use plastic already manufactured and in circulation. Of the amount, 20% shall be kept by the business enterprise, while 80% shall be remitted on a regular basis to the Special Plastic Fund to be created under the bill.

The amount collected will have official receipts. 

If customers will bring their own reusable or recyclable containers when buying food and beverages, a discount of P5 shall be given to them.

Those who will not heed the prohibition on the use of single-use plastics will be slapped with fines or cancellation of business permit.

Single-use plastics include items such as grocery bags, food packaging, films and bags, manufacturing water bottles, straws, stirrers, containers, Styrofoam, cups, sachets and plastic cutlery.

A study on the country’s pollution problem by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives revealed that around 59.8 billion pieces of plastic sachets are used by Filipinos a year.

The report also showed that more than 17 billion shopping bags are used across the country every year. The use of smaller, thinner and often transparent plastic bags is at 16.5 billion.

Filipinos also discard 1.1 billion diapers per year.

FRANCIS PANGILINAN SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAN
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