Extended accountability on waste needed from manufacturers: Study

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    A recycling facility in Quezon City. (Photo © Czarina Constantino / WWF-Philippines)

    The recycling rate of plastics in the Philippines remains low at 9 percent  with about 35 percent of plastic wastes in the country leaked into the environment.

    These are the highlights of the “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Scheme Assessment for Plastic Packaging Waste in the Philippines” released by the

    World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines on Wednesday.

    Filipinos consume a yearly average of 20 kilograms (kg) of plastics, from which 15.43kg/cap/year becomes waste.

    However, insufficient recycling capacities for high value recyclables (i.e. PET, PP, HDPE) and the high volume of low value plastics (including sachets) are factors that affect the country’s low plastic recycling rate.

    The report highlights EPR as a critical and effective policy tool in holding manufacturers accountable for the end-of-life impacts of their plastic products and packaging. EPR as a policy instrument also encourages the adoption of holistic eco-design among the business sector.

    WWF Philippines said the report proposes a mandatory EPR scheme for all product packaging with a three-year transition phase for obliged businesses to redesign their product packaging and eliminate unnecessary plastics.

    “We in WWF believe that a mandatory EPR system is a way for businesses to be more engaged in eliminating unnecessary plastics through eco-design and strengthening waste management by being responsible for the end of life impacts of their plastic packaging. It is a driving mechanism for businesses to transform their models and push for circular solutions to reduce plastic generation including refilling and ultimately to eliminating leakage of plastic in nature. Adopting the EPR scheme in the Philippines is a great driver for us to stop plastic pollution,” said  Czarina Constantino, WWF-Philippines’ national lead for the No Plastics In Nature Initiative and Project Manager for Plastic Smart Cities.

    “Addressing plastic pollution requires both upstream (production/pre-consumption) and downstream measures (consumption and post-consumption). Working on the entirety of the plastic life cycle, stakeholder collaboration is important in both reducing the production and the consumption of unnecessary plastic, and also in managing plastic products and packaging, ensuring that materials are used as long as possible in our society,” said Joel Palma, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

    Nestlé Philippines, one of the leading producers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the country, encouraged fellow stakeholders to do their part for nature by supporting the localized EPR scheme.

    “At Nestlé, we believe that tackling plastic waste cannot be successfully achieved by a single or linear solution. It requires the attention and action of different stakeholders. We must look into different options both upstream and downstream, and take a holistic approach as we continue accelerating our initiatives to tackle plastic waste and EPR is a major instrument. We support the creation of a localized EPR scheme that we believe can help increase collection and recycling rates. We cannot achieve this alone, we must work together, to achieve a waste-free future,” said Arlene Tan-Bantoto,  senior vice president and head of Corporate Affairs and Communications of Nestlé Philippines.

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