The Philippines’ new law requires businesses to recover 20% of plastic packaging waste

PHILIPPINES – The Philippines has added a law to its Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which requires businesses to recover their plastic packaging waste.

Under the law, companies have the “responsibility for the proper and effective recovery, treatment, recycling or disposal of their products after they have been sold and used by consumers” to reduce the volume of plastic waste generation.

In a statement, Jonas Leones, DENR undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs, said: “The success of the implementation of the EPR (Extended Producers Responsibility) law heavily depends on the cooperation and compliance of the private sector.”

The law states that companies with a total asset of over ₱100 million (US$1.8 million) will be required to establish a mechanism to recover a certain percentage of their plastic packaging waste.

For 2023, companies are required to recover 20% of their plastic footprint, or the plastic waste that their company has produced, from the previous year.

The law also states that an incremental target will be fulfilled yearly until 2030.

Companies are required to register their information online. Those who fail to comply will pay a fine from ₱5 million (US$91,644) to ₱20 million (US$366,578).

Philippines environment secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said: “Companies shall be responsible for allocating resources to support the collection, recovery, transportation, processing, recycling and disposal of plastic packaging wastes in environmentally sound ways.”

According to the directives, producers, distributors and retailers adhering to the Extended Producers Responsibility Act will be eligible for tax incentives.

The Philippines joins the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Columbia, Peru and Brazil as countries that promote EPR.

In 2018, the DENR dedicated ₱1.25 billion (US$23 million) out of a national budget of ₱27 billion (US$495 million) for the environmental protection program for clean water, air and solid waste management.

The country aims to promote 60% recovery and recycling of plastic by 2030 and offers opportunities for the private sector for technology transfer and assimilation in plastic waste management, particularly for different plastic waste streams.

In a bid to do so, the Polystyrene Packaging Council of the Philippines, a group of 21 foam polystyrene producers, set up a recycling plant.

The Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability, a multi-sectoral coalition composed of top consumer goods companies, also plans to build a ₱25 million (US$458 million) recycling facility for sachets in Metro Manila.

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