The government, consumers, brands, operators and recyclers, and producer responsibility organization will have to work together to implement EPR and a revitalized waste management system. Barbers said a recent waste and brand audit conducted on June 1 showed that six of 10 leading plastic polluters in six major cities in the Philippines are multinational brands. The problem, he said, lies in the implementation. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive our free sustainable lifestyle guide when you do. Philippines’ plastic pollution epidemic The United Nations called this problem ’one of the great environmental challenges of all time’. Under the EPR scheme, manufacturers should apply eco-design principles to their packaging to reduce the amount of material used and make a product easier to reuse and recycle. In the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, for example, there are no LGUs enforcing plastic policies. We also hope that this can act as a demonstration site for the types of simple solutions that can be set up locally to improv… Low-income LGUs have a hard time implementing the provisions in RA 9003 due to "limited funds, space availability, and resources," as seen in recovery facilities that are only used as storage for segregation. Coke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the Philippines Multinational food and beverage companies Coca-Cola, Nestlé and PepsiCo are the main contributors to the world’s plastic waste, according to a recently released global report based on a massive brand audit by green groups across 51 countries. The plastic is also consumed by animals and marine life; a problem since plastics are also made up of the problematic chemical BPA or Bisphenol A and there’s every chance it’s making its way into human bodies through the consumption of plastic-fed seafood. Stop buying plastic bottles. One of the first steps in changing this and other similar practices is to pass legislation that will jumpstart a national effort toward a more effective waste management system in the country. – Rappler.com. The Philippines is among the countries contributing to 60% of the marine debris discarded in our oceans. People discard trash from their residences that no longer fit in with its ‘flow’. The COVID-19 crisis also presents a unique challenge, one that will need a response that balances health and environment. 6864 which, among many important provisions, emphasizes the strict monitoring of waste management during the pandemic. According to Jacob Duer of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, in Thailand, plastic waste has increased from 1,500 tons to 6,300 tons per day, caused by food deliveries at home. The Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China account for 60 percent of the world’s marine plastic, or 8 million tonnes annually, according to the Ocean Conservancy non-profit. Since more people are becoming aware of plastic pollution, more people are embracing a sustainable lifestyle. The Philippines annually contributes nearly two million tonnes of mismanaged waste plastic to the global ocean plastic problem. Environmental groups are accusing the Trudeau government of acting in bad faith after it quietly signed a bilateral agreement with the U.S. that could allow it to evade some of its obligations to stop shipping plastic waste to poor countries around the world.The agreement — which was never publicly announced or gazetted — was signed on Oct. 26, 2020, the U.S. State Department told CBC … A recent study commissioned by conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines proposed to the Philippine government and producers a waste reduction and management scheme that would oblige companies to take more responsibility for the products they put out on the market. As the Philippines juggles its pandemic response with the surge of single-use plastics, Congress approved House Bill No. Garbage dumping is still common practice, particularly among those living along the river slums. Customs data from 2018 shows more than three million kilograms of plastic recyclable waste were imported to the Philippines from the US alone – declared in … In a study published last June in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers calculated a monthly use of 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves globally during the pandemic. This amount of waste is not only an environmental problem but also a risk to public health. The bill is currently pending at the committee level in the Senate. While medical wastes are necessities amid the pandemic and are disposed of differently, most face masks used by the public are not disposed of properly and add to the world's already accumulating waste. The EPR scheme will obligate those who place packaged goods on the market to pay for the cost of collection, sorting, recycling, and safe disposal. You can actually see a thick layer of garbage floating in the waterways as if it were some island. People can also use those bottles to build things. So how do you make an ‘eco brick’ exactly? All stakeholders, especially the private sector, will be organized in a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), a system operator that will ensure that responsibility is fair and distributed properly within the industry. One of the goals of EPR is to "stimulate" a holistic waste management system, reorganizing the system already in place, and filling the gaps of inconsistencies in plastic regulation. (READ: Single-use plastics, still the environment's number 1 enemy). In his bill, the main objective is to oblige producers to collect the same amount of plastic packaging as they had initially put out. WWF: 200 marine species die from ingesting plastic bags and choking from them In a report released a few years ago, the Ocean Conservancy singled out the Philippines as one of five countries from where majority of plastics originates. "Whoever brings the product out into the market, siya rin 'yung may (is also the one with the) responsibility [of] how to deal with it after," according to Grip Bueta, an environmental lawyer who has been working on EPR and plastic pollution in the Philippines for around a decade. Even as fierce debate on plastic pollution and single-use packaging continues in the Philippines, it is vital to address the lack of disposal facilities and stop the leakage of plastic waste into the oceans, industry experts said. "There should be a focus on reducing waste in the first place. He was referring to the effectiveness of legal safeguards that multinational companies have to follow and the working dynamics of the private sector and government. world’s top three worst offenders of plastic pollution, almost 92 percent of Americans are tested BPA-positive, implications of high BPA in the human body, drop them off to an eco brick organisation. ), total ban on plastics in the Philippines is not possible, How going zero waste is addressing PH's plastic pollution. According to the BBC, the European Union is the world’s biggest exporter of plastic waste, while the U.S. is the largest single-country source. According to the WWF Philippines, "it is important to focus on both reduction of the production and the consumption of unnecessary plastic." Children play on the shore of Manila Bay in the Philippines, which is polluted by plastic waste. The higher the volume of packaging the companies put out, the higher the fee they will have to pay. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to end it. Based on WABAs conducted in areas across the Philippines, findings highlighted in this report confirm that: 1. If she isn't out there writing thought-provoking and challenging pieces, she'd translate her thoughts into photography. Bueta works as a consultant for various non-governmental organizations like EcoWaste Coalition, and for judicial capacity building on environment and climate law at the Asian Development Bank. ... plastic waste has increased from 1,500 tons to 6,300 tons per day, caused by food deliveries at home. The country is one of the world’s top three worst offenders of plastic pollution. The use of single-use plastics surged following institutions' efforts to curb infections. Much has been said about the tingi (retail) culture, where Filipinos buy products in single-use packages – a practice exacerbated by poor living conditions and limited household budget. As a result, rates of garbage dumping declined. Yet the problem persists. Scientific evidence and a growing restlessness over climate change and the environment have led to movements demanding a shift in the way we consume products, especially those with plastic packaging. Seems that 90s slogan, ‘the garbage you dump goes back to you’ has reached a whole new meaning. Marikina City is known to be the cleanest city in the country. A total ban will "have a negative impact on ordinary Filipinos," according to Rodriguez. The United Nations called this problem ’one of the great environmental challenges of all time’. A plan to fix the Philippines' plastic problem. This scheme is presented as one of the initiatives to stop the flow of plastic into nature by 2030. ", For advocates, EPR may pave the way for a more sustainable economy that breaks away from the current linear economy where we just buy, consume, and dump. But it wasn’t always that way. Then please support Eco Warrior Princess on Patreon! by EnviroNewsph; June 5, 2018 Tweet. With nowhere to go, the waste found its way to Southeast Asia, with the Philippines seeing plastic waste imports rise 150% from 2016 to about 11,800 tons in 2018. Under the proposed scheme, companies will also have to pay a fee for every plastic packaging they put out. Several senators, including Senators Risa Hontiveros and Nancy Binay, have filed bills seeking to ban plastic straws and bags in restaurants and stores. He emphasized a whole of society approach – from the government's political will to implement policies, the private sector's willingness to cooperate, to the public's active participation. This is her paradise. With the scheme in place, companies will be prompted to reduce plastic packaging and be more proactive in lessening the amount of plastic they produce. Companies are also required to coordinate with each other and with the government to properly dispose of their waste. Filipino culture and consumer habits play a role in why the country produces so much waste, particularly plastic. According to Ocean Conservancy's Plastics Policy Playbook, EPR fees can close the financing gap by about 75%. This prompted the city’s officials to implement a strict waste management system. Oct 9, 2020 5:00 PM PHT. What is plastic waste? However, the nation-wide law against the use of single-use plastic such as plastic bags is still pending which is why rates of use is high in the Philippines. Grate argues that the corporations that produce the waste should be responsible for cleaning it up. (READ: How going zero waste is addressing PH's plastic pollution). You buy the product, use it until it's worn out or out of trend, then dispose of it. Given the situation, establishing another system such as the EPR may overwhelm the status quo. His bill seeks to make companies accountable, pushed by what Rodriguez calls the "producer pays" principle. But according to the WWF Philippines, there are only 10,730 materials recovery facilities in the country as of 2018. Many groups are concerned that the "COVID waste" will stall the hard-earned gains of the plastic movement worldwide. Enjoyed this post & want to show your gratitude? The reality is though, that some recyclables end up in the non-recycling bin headed for landfills and worst case scenario dumped some place else polluting the natural environment. A Crusade In The Philippines Takes On The Big Brands Behind Plastic Waste : Goats and Soda Every year, 8 million tons of plastic wash into … For Bueta, EPR is just one of the many waste management tools we can use to fix the country's plastic problem. EPR SETUP. Previous studies have ranked the Philippines as the third biggest ocean polluter of plastic, and many Filipinos have declared that stances on the issue will influence their vote in the upcoming senatorial elections. Eco Warrior Princess. The main aim of the site is to allow as many recyclable materials as possible to be segregated so that they can be sold to the local junk shops. Dudez Perez loves to stimulate minds. The fee for recyclable packaging is less compared to non-recyclable packaging. Some plastics that exist today have been around since before I was born as they just don’t break down easily. According to a highly-cited 2015 study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, around 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastics enter our oceans annually. When not properly disposed, they don’t just end up in a landfill. The infomercial and its slogan was a success, educating many Filipinos. In its report, the WWF Philippines said EPR as a sustainable waste management tool "is an inevitable element for achieving a well-functioning circular economy. They cater to a meager 33.3%, or 14,000 out of the total 42,046 barangays in the Philippines. There’s also major drainage improvement projects currently underway. When off the grid, she’s either a hundred/thousand meters above sea level – or dreaming about it. Plastic regulation is also inconsistent among LGUs. Unsurprisingly, the Philippines generates more solid waste … Addressing plastic pollution requires measures from all phases of consumption. An EPR system is only possible "if we have a clear plan and all stakeholders commit to implementing EPR and looking at different issues," Bueta said. Bueta, too, said the country must go beyond waste management. The fees will go to a fund that will finance the process of waste collection, treatment, recycling, and disposal. In Japan, for example, their PRO called the Japan Containers and Packaging Recycling Association (JCPRA) actively coordinates with concerned government ministries, municipalities, and consumers. Iya Gozum is a member of Rappler's digital communications team. A popular solution to the plastic problem is turning waste-filled plastic bottles into building blocks or ‘eco bricks’. In the Philippines, there’s a long way to go yet since poor waste management services and poverty remain major barriers to recycling and environmental initiatives, but we won’t stop pushing for a cleaner, greener environment. “Richer countries are taking advantage of the looser regulations in poorer countries,” Lea Guerrero, Country … And because people cannot go outside, basic necessities such as food, groceries, and household supplies are delivered to homes – most of them in plastic packaging. This will ensure consistent and quality waste collection and recycling. The Philippines is hit with an average of 20 typhoons a year. A 2015 study found that the Philippines is one of the world's top five producers of plastic waste in the world—along with China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Plastic labo bag use throughout the Philippines is at 45.2 million pieces per day, or 16.5 billion pieces a year. If you make a purchase using a link we may receive a commission. Back in the 90s, a series of infomercials played on Filipino television. It profiled Froilan Grate, a Filipino environmental activist, and his efforts to fight the non-recyclable plastic waste that is clogging miles and miles of coastline in the Philippines. In December 1999, Japan took back 122 containers of hazardous trash only after they had spent five months idling in the country, with the Keizō Obuchi administration admitting full responsibility and holding the company which exported the waste accountable. Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage,” said aphorist and professor Mason Cooley. Manila, Philippines: The home is a sanctuary. In the Philippines, this right is enshrined in the Philippine Constitution, recognized in Republic Act No. A lot of proposals have been made to tackle the country's waste problem. Save them up and drop them off to an eco brick organisation that are accepting donations. It will also divert government funds from waste management and realign them to other equally important social services such as education and health. You may email her at iya.gozum@rappler.com. If you like our site, think our work is important and want to pledge your support, you can pledge a donation through Patreon. We actually consume about 300 million tons of plastic every year. It’s not a new problem. This year, incidentally, the EU will launch a project in East and Southeast Asia to address these regions’ growing problems with plastic waste and marine litter. Both bills are still pending at the committee level as of October 2020. Taking responsibility for plastic usage is one way to be a more responsible earth citizen. The Philippines is ranked by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as the third biggest plastic polluter in the world, behind only China and Indonesia. Her writing nook is a make shift aquarium stand with a wooden board on top that is stacked with literature, a bottle of absinthe and photos of her kids. We can’t Marie Kondo our way out of the world’s stuff. Dubbed the "Better Normal" bill, it provides incentives to manufacturers who will shift to more eco-friendly packaging alternatives. But for now, any development that challenges the current line of production and the country's culture of consumption is welcome. The fight against the virus has compromised the battle against plastics. As of 2018, the JCPRA processed 82,492 contracts with businesses, amounting to 1,563,937 tons of containers and wrapping recycled. This should be an enormous source of national embarrassment for us Filipinos, but this problem is … The garbage is exported from around a dozen developed countriesincluding the U.S., Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K., according to Greenpeace. Around three million diapers are discarded in the Philippines daily, or 1.1 billion diapers annually. Promote green and eco-friendly alternatives. That saying had been etched into my young mind along with the video of people living in the slums unloading piles of trash in the river and finally, a video of floods hitting the Philippines. This story is produced in partnership with the WWF Philippines. JCPRA started recycling glass and PET bottles in 1997, and successfully expanded operations to include paper, plastic containers, and wrappers in specified business entities by 2000. After studying the rate of disposal in each region vis-à-vis wealth, the WWF Philippines concluded that waste disposal is directly related to the level of income in the area. of how much plastic waste, particularly those with branded packaging, are discarded by households. Getting rid of your stuff makes things go away for you, but not for the planet. More than eight million tons of plastic gets dumped in our ocean and circle the earth about four times in a year. Communities from the lower-income brackets do not have much choice in the way they consume. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have resorted to eco-bricks, but Filipinos continue to be at the forefront of the eco-brick movement, practiced by zero waste advocates such as Angel Mata aka Zero Waste Filipina and Phoebe Blas of Mean Living. 22 Steps Closer to Zero Waste Living: Disposable Items to Stop Buying Right Now, Here’s What Happens to Our Plastic Recycling When It Goes Offshore, Educational Docos and Short Films About Plastic Pollution and Living Plastic-Free, Concerned About The UN Climate Report? Recent reports on plastic consumption paint an even more depressing picture, as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led the world to rely more on plastics. 1331, which amends RA 9003 to include EPR. On the other hand, the world's medical frontliners need 89 million medical masks, 76 million gloves, and 1.6 million goggles monthly, according to the World Health Organization. It does not help that the Philippines is struggling to manage its growing waste and plastic crisis. 6279, which mandates companies to achieve plastic neutrality in 10 years. But to this day, the country's waste management system continues to be inefficient, making these standalone efforts the exception rather than the norm. Plastic facts are staggering. Greenpeace said plastic waste was a particularly serious problem in “sachet economies” like the Philippines and other developing countries, where people on limited incomes are pushed to buy cheap goods in small quantities. The pandemic has highlighted the pressing need to make bolder action plans to combat plastic pollution. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. : The Trump Administration’s Environmental Policy Part 1, Future Design Series: Sustainable Food Packaging Alternatives to Plastic - Eco Warrior Princess. Instead of just churning out products that would soon become waste, companies are given the extended responsibility to dispose of and recycle their products post-consumption. Bills seeking to legislate EPR are currently pending in the Senate and Congress. "[Companies] will either directly collect and treat their post-consumer packaging waste, or pay a waste management operator to do so," the WWF Philippines said in the report they completed last August. These efforts should ensure that "materials are used as long as possible in our society.". 10 Organic Bed Sheets and Bedding Brands For Sustainable Shoppers (and Sleepers!) The congressman finds EPR as as alternative to a total plastic ban. These bricks are filled with dry, non-biodegradable substances such as plastic wrappers and are then used to build schools, parks and even houses. Other lawmakers like Muntinlupa City Representative Rufino Biazon proposed a prohibition on the sale, use, manufacture, and importation of single-use plastics. Take These Sustainable Actions Today…, Individuals in the Developed World Consume More of the Earth’s Resources. Every citizen has the right to a healthy environment, supported by an effective solid waste management system. Public transportation and business establishments use plastic dividers to ensure safety and continue operations. - Eco Warrior Princess. Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez also filed House Bill No. They may even change business models to adapt to their new mandate, opting for refillables and reusables. When they do, they break up into smaller pieces resulting in microplastics. Senator Cynthia Villar authored Senate Bill No. Much has been written about the Philippines’ plastic pollution problem. All one needs to do is stuff any of small bits of single-use plastic bits in a plastic bottle. When living becomes a matter of surviving the day-to-day, it is harder to police the way people buy basic necessities. Eco Warrior Princess uses affiliate links. Writing sets her free. These bits of plastics are found along shorelines and in our oceans. 2018 World Environment Day: Philippines wages war vs plastic waste. Quezon City, for example, was the first to open a condiment refilling station so people can get their supply using reusable bottles. A slogan from one infomercial was ‘Basurang tinapon mo, babalik sayo’ which translates to, The garbage you dump goes back to you. The JCPRA is closely working with 5 government ministries on environment, trade, finance, welfare, and agriculture. There's little awareness of what happens after disposal and where all the trash ends up. Is Boxed Water Really Better Than Bottled Water? Garbage collectors won’t pick up your garbage when not properly segregated; residents can expect to be fined if they don’t separate non-biodegradable and biodegradable items. For Rodriguez, a total ban on plastics in the Philippines is not possible "as it will have a negative impact on ordinary Filipinos," he told Rappler. This waste reduction and management tool is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a scheme that reimagines the life cycle of products, ensuring that brands and manufacturers take responsibility for everything they manufacture and sell. Earth is Choking on Plastic: How the Heck Did We End Up Here? Producers are encouraged to make their packaging recyclable. MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has among the highest trash collection rates in Southeast Asia yet it's the world's 3rd biggest source of plastic leaking into the ocean. The city is situated beside higher areas so when rainy season begins, flooding in Marikina is expected. 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