Climate and Environment

Emphasis on eco-modulation, investment in R&D needed in implementation of EPR law — group

Emphasis on eco-modulation, investment in R&D needed in implementation of EPR law â group
A pile of garbage, including plastic waste, is seen as children play on a bridge in downtown Manila on September 4, 2019.
AFP/George Calvelo

MANILA, Philippines — Conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the implementing rules and regulations of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) law must clarify and include several points for the execution of the measure to be successful.

In a release Tuesday, Czarina Constantino-Panopio, program manager of WWF’s No Plastics in Nature Initiative, said the EPR law is a “very important instrument that will shape the future of our initiatives against plastic pollution.”

Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022, which requires large enterprises to recover or offset their plastic packaging footprint, lapsed into law in July after neither former president Rodrigo Duterte nor President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. acted on it 30 days after receipt from Congress.

“Our work now is to implement together with all stakeholders and ensure that we are adopting a human-rights-based approach in doing so,” Constantino-Panopio said.

WWF-Philippines said the IRR of the measure must clarify the role and powers of Producer Responsibility Operators as they will play a huge role in the implementation of the EPR system. A PRO is an entity that will help businesses implement EPR.

To ensure the successful implementation of the law, WWF-Philippines, through discussions with stakeholders from different sectors, recommended the following:

  • Emphasize eco-modulation or the adjustment of the EPR fees based on packaging of the product and ensure that fees will support the improvement of the country’s solid waste management system
  • Invest in research and development, technology sharing, and reduction of plastic
  • Underscore labeling, an “important aspect to facilitate proper reuse, recycling, return to manufacturer, and other means to circulate the material in the system”
  • Make EPR programs inclusive and integrated these into the existing solid waste management

Studies by WWF-Philippines showed that a Filipino consumes an annual average of 20 kilograms of plastics, 15.43 kg of which becomes total plastic waste. It added that the Philippines has a very low plastic recycling rate of 9%.

Some of the leading voices against plastic pollution such as EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Asia Pacific, Break Free From Plastic, and Greenpeace Philippines expressed opposition to the measure. They said the measure promotes false solutions such as incineration and will not fully address the country’s plastic pollution problem.

In his inaugural speech, Marcos stressed that the Philippines has to play its part in addressing plastic pollution. How he plans to do that remains unclear. — Gaea Katreena Cabico



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