Legarda renews call to combat plastic use

August 18, 2022

Senator Loren Legarda has refiled her bill that seeks to phase out single-use plastics and mandate extended producers’ responsibility schemes from businesses and companies, reiterating her call to address the growing plastic pollution and waste in the country.

Returning to the Senate for her fourth six-year tenure as the 19th Congress opens July 25, Legarda also called on the public to support the Plastic Free July, a global movement that enjoins millions of people around the world to avoid and reduce single-use plastic waste every day at home, work, schools, and establishments.

“We need to correct our behavior and mindset when it comes to single-use plastics by adopting more sustainable practices, such as recycling or upcycling, reducing our consumption, and proper disposal, to mitigate their detrimental effects to our environment, health, and our climate. But we also need to continue demanding more effective policies and solutions especially from companies to manage plastic waste and incentivize consumers to help address plastic pollution,” she explained.

Legarda cited the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) National Plan of Action on Marine Litter, which aims to have zero waste in Philippine waters by 2040, and the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) Philippine Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production (PAP4SCP), which seeks to improve waste management and promote plastic circularity.

She also pushed to prioritize stronger implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, a law she authored which mandates to install materials recovery facilities in every barangay and to issue the list of non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging materials.

Legarda cited the World Bank’s 2021 study on Plastic Circularity, which reported that only 22 percent of the total material value of plastics is currently unlocked in the Philippines, resulting in losses of $790-890 million per year of potential material value to the economy.

The report added that unlocking this market opportunity requires public and private sector investments to improve waste collection and sorting, an enabling environment to improve recycling economics, and other systemic interventions.

“The plastic crisis we face right now calls for a rethinking of our approaches to our governance and market systems and operations. We need to sustain this growing movement on sustainability and circularity by improving our policies, implementing more adequate interventions from the public and private sectors, and opening more spaces where citizens can support and take lead in addressing single-use plastics,” Legarda said.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Legarda renews call to combat plastic use