Various studies already point out the alarming state of plastic pollution in the Philippines, with the country being cited as one of the top plastic-polluting countries in our oceans and high percentages of plastic leakage into the open environment and disposal in dumpsites and landfills.
The plastic crisis, however, is not just a pollution problem. It is also a climate change issue. About 99 percent of plastics in use are actually made of petrochemicals that are derived from fossil fuels such as crude oil.
Through our Plastic-Free Reality program, we create partnerships to raise awareness among stakeholders, including government and private sector leaders, that we cannot just simply recycle our way out of this problem. We need to stop the problem at its source by demanding corporate accountability, pushing for policies that will enable the shift to more sustainable value chains, and ensuring a just transition for sectors that will be affected.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW OUR WASTE SECTOR CONTRIBUTES TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS
Advocating for a national single-use plastic policy
Enacted in the year 2000, Republic Act No. 9003 of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act provides the necessary policy framework, institutional mechanisms, and mandate to the local government units (LGUs) to achieve 25% waste reduction through establishing an integrated solid waste management plans based on 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycling).
The law mandates the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) to prepare, within one year from the effectivity of the law, the list of non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAPs) to be banned following a phase-out plan that will be developed in consultation with stakeholders.
For many advocates, this provision should’ve been enough to manage and phase out single-use plastics. Yet, two decades since the law has passed, the NSWMC still hasn’t implemented the said provision.
Learn more about the salient provisions of the law and the status of its implementation:
While we advocate for the full implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, we also support efforts toward enacting a national policy that would regulate and eventually phasing out single-use plastics (SUPs) in the country and lay out an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme that will mandate companies and commercial establishments to address plastic waste and pollution.
Greening the value chain
We are also engaging consumer goods companies, as well as e-commerce companies, on the need to reduce unnecessary plastics in their operations and adopt reuse systems.
Through a survey we will launch this year, we will determine the baseline plastic consumption of Filipinos on e-commerce platforms which rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bawal Plastikan: Creating a community of practice for zero-waste strategies and actions
In order to highlight existing best practices, we intend to create a compendium of local policies and initiatives on anti-single-use plastics through research and crowdsourcing.
In line with this, we have partnered with a team of AB Development Studies students at the Ateneo De Manila University to develop a policy note assessing existing single-use plastic policies in Marikina City, Makati City, and Quezon City.
Download the policy note “Addressing the Single-Use Plastics Problem in the Philippines: A Review of Plastic Waste Management Policies and Programs of Metro Manila LGUs”