On average, each of the 108.12 million Filipinos (estimated population of the country as of 2020) consumes about 20 kilograms of plastic every year. About 15.43 kilograms/cap/year of that becomes waste. This is based on data from a Euromap study in 2016.
In a June 2018 story published here in Tech and Lifestyle Journal, the Philippines ranked No. 3 in the list of Top 12 nations that pollute the world’s oceans the most (from a study published in the Wall Street Journal).
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines recently released a report that identified insufficient recycling capacities for high-value recyclables and the high volume of low-value plastics (including sachets) as among the major factors leading to the low plastic recycling rate of the country, which is at 9%. The report ‘Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Scheme Assessment for Plastic Packaging Waste in the Philippines’ further estimates that the Philippines leaks about 35% of plastic wastes into the environment.
Consequently, a customized EPR scheme is now proposed in the Philippines. The proposal calls for a mandatory EPR scheme for all product packaging with a 3-year transition phase for obliged businesses to redesign their product packages and eliminate their unnecessary use of plastics. It is also suggested that a non-profit Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) should act as a system operator, with strict monitoring and control systems carried out by the government.
WWF-Philippines advocates for the adoption of the EPR scheme in the country to stop plastic pollution. “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,” said WWF-Philippines National Lead for the No Plastics In Nature Initiative and Project Manager for Plastic Smart Cities Czarina Constantino. “Adopting the EPR scheme in the Philippines is a great driver for us to stop plastic pollution.”
Among the supporters of the advocacy is Nestlé Philippines, a consumer goods producer. The company is encouraging other local-based enterprises to also support the proposed localized EPR scheme.
“We support the creation of a localized EPR scheme that we believe can help increase collection and recycling rates,” said Nestlé Philippines SVP and Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications Arlene Tan-Bantoto. “We cannot achieve this alone; we must work together to achieve a waste-free future.”
This study is part of the No Plastic in Nature Initiative, WWF’s global initiative to stop the flow of plastics entering nature by 2030. The organization calls for the elimination of unnecessary plastics; doubling reuse, recycling and recovery; and ensuring remaining plastic is sourced responsibly. Through the initiative, WWF-Philippines has been working with cities on plastic leakage, with policymakers to advocate for a global treaty on plastic pollution, with businesses for a transition to circular business models, and with the general public to campaign and act.
Tech and Lifestyle Journal supports #ChangeTheEnding movement, the no plastics in nature movement.