CCC lauds 2nd Reading House Approval of Single-Use Plastics Regulation Bill

By Ma. Alaine P. Allanigue

QUEZON CITY, June 3 (PIA) — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) welcomed the approval today on second reading of House Bill No. 9147 or the “Single-Use Plastics Products Regulation Act”, legislation that would effectively address the country’s high rate of plastic waste leakage  and plastics’ impacts on the environment, public health, and climate change through a nationwide phaseout of single-use plastics and implementation of producers responsibility schemes.

“We believe that this measure can finally put an end to our addiction to single-use plastics and will accelerate the ongoing research and development of more sustainable products and technologies, while creating green jobs,” said Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera.

House Bill 9147, sponsored by Rep. Jose Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, Chair of the House Committee on Ecology – Technical Working Group, seeks to phase-out drinking plastic straws; plastic stirrers; sticks for candy, balloons, and cotton bud; buntings; confetti; and packaging or bags with thickness of less than 10 microns, within one year. As a second category, plastic plates and saucers; cups, bowls, and lids; cutlery; food and beverage containers; oxo-degradable plastics; film wrap of 50 microns thickness or less; and sachets and pouches, are to be phased out within four years.

Producers and importers of single-use plastics shall also phase in extended producer responsibility programs within two years, which include recovery, transportation, and clean-up schemes for plastic wastes, as well as establishment of recycling, composting, and other waste diversion or disposal facilities. The bill also sets out fines and penalties ranging from P50,000 to P1,000,000 and revocation of permit.

The CCC is committed to take a proactive role in promoting concrete actions to help achieve climate targets and reduce our carbon footprint such as by adoption of circular economy approaches and sustainable consumption and production practices. These measures to increase resilience and adaptive capacity have also been identified in the country’s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Last January 2021, the CCC together with member agencies of the Cabinet Cluster for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR) moved to approve Resolution No. 1 “Adopting the Principles of Sustainable Consumption and Production, Towards Regulation and Phaseout of Single-Use Plastics and a Responsible Transition to the Use of Environment-Friendly Products.” (PIA NCR)