MANILA – Senator Cynthia Villar yesterday backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent pronouncement regarding the possibility of a nationwide ban on the use of plastics.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said the possible ban is urgent as she cited a 2015 report on plastic pollution by the international group Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, showing that the Philippines is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic wastes that end up in the ocean.
“With the President taking the lead in this campaign, I am confident we will be making significant headway and finally remove us from that disconcerting title as one of the world’s largest producers of plastic wastes,” Villar said.
Villar has filed Senate Bill No. 333, or the Single-Use Plastic Product Regulation Act, which seeks to regulate the manufacturing, importation, and use of single-use plastic products.
“With our dependence on agriculture, plastic pollution also poses a grave threat to our food security. Disaster risks and hazards arising from plastic pollution may put farms at risk of flooding resulting in wastage of agricultural products along with its threats to a balanced ecology,” Villar said.
“Microplastics leaked in our bodies of water may also put public health at risk as it gets into our food chain,” she added.
The bill proposes to prohibit the issuance of the single-use plastics by food establishments, stores, markets, and retailers.
Consumers will also be diverted to use reusable materials and manufacturers will be mandated to collect, recycle and dispose of single-use plastics manufactured or in circulation in the general market.
Under the measure, retailers shall charge the consumer a minimum levy of P5 for each piece of single-use plastics already manufactured, in circulation, and for use in a transaction.
The bill seeks to penalize violations of business enterprises, micro, small and medium enterprises with a fine ranging from P10,000 to P100,000 and suspension or revocation of business permit.*PNA
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