“Because the Marcos administration has been strong in protecting Filipinos from climate change, the president should veto this bill because it could affect our climate goals,” Ledesma said. “[The bill] the situation could be exacerbated by the resulting greenhouse gas emissions from thermal treatment established by law, as well as the lack of restrictions or plastic reduction targets. ”
The lack of plastic reduction goals will allow companies to their “uncontrolled” use of plastic production, which thrives on more greenhouse gas emissions causing extreme weather events and rising sea levels. , added Ledesma.
At the briefing, Dr. Gerry Paraso of Mary Johnston Hospital, a member of the non-profit Healthcare Without Harm, mentioned research that has shown how burning plastic releases toxic substances such as dioxins, furans, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyl in the atmosphere, causing heart disease and respiratory disorders.
Bill does not explicitly allow thermal treatment
Thermal treatment refers to a process in which heat is applied to waste to sanitize it. Supporters of the new bill pointed to the fact that it does not explicitly include approval of such treatment of plastic waste.
“It should be noted that from a business perspective, this approach [of thermal treatment] increases cost and is not an incentive for brand owners and producers because you have to pay for facilities, when they are available, for this service, ”said Crispian Lao, founder of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainabiity (PARMS), in Eco-Business. Corporate members of the alliance include leading local plastic polluters such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Pepsi, Universal Robina, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever Philippines.
Froilan Grate, executive director of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, believes, however, that simply mentioning thermal treatment in the provision is one way to advance the technique.
“We know that the language in the laws isn’t very explicit or can be twisted. We know that ambiguity only allows for wrong solutions,” Grate said. “We’ve seen that happen with environmental laws over the past 20 years.”
Grate said he was referring to the country’s Clean Air Act, which prohibits incineration, even though the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is already pushing for waste incineration as a method of disposal due to the ambiguity of the law. Activists criticized the move as a violation of regulation.
Not a real EPR?
The proposed proposal in the new EPR Bill would only require plastic waste producers to collect and recycle plastic packaging waste, without holding companies accountable for finding ways to reduce plastic production and use, Coleen said Thank you, plastic solutions campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition.
He called for amending the bill to also set targets on an “upstream” approach, rather than on the “downstream” side only.
“Downstream” techniques refer to steps taken after a consumer has used a product to ensure that it does not end up in a landfill, such as recycling and reuse. “Upstream” approaches are those taken before a product is used to reduce waste, such as redesigning a product or changing the material from which it is made to make it reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable.
The bill requires companies to recycle the growing percentage of plastic packaging waste they generate so they don’t end up in landfills. Beginning in December 2023, companies will take 10 percent of their plastic waste footprint until they reach an 80 percent recovery rate by December 2030.
There are currently 189 operating landfills nationwide, but the government plans to build 300 new ones within the year to help alleviate the pressure on existing ones that receive 12,091 tons of garbage per day nationwide, equivalent to nearly 600 garbage trucks,
Salamat said: “A true EPR follows the” polluters’ wage principle “which places greater responsibility on more polluters, such as the plastics industry and fast -moving consumer goods corporations. comply with regulations banning single-use plastics. Unfortunately, the bill is polluter-friendly so we urge the President to scrap the bill immediately. “