IRR for Extended Producer Responsibility Act signed
The Manila Times
ENVIRONMENT Secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga has signed the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of Republic Act 11890, or the “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022.” The law mandates large-scale companies to establish a mechanism for the recovery of their plastic packaging. Yulo-Loyzaga added that under the EPR, companies have the responsibility for the proper and effective recovery, treatment, recycling or disposal of their products after they have been sold and used by consumers. RA 11890 aims to reduce the volume of plastic waste generation and extend the life of plastics by adding value or purpose through upcycling or recycling. “The EPR Law will also help in advancing a circular economy that mitigates climate change and protects our life-supporting ecosystems by avoiding or minimizing pollution while maximizing the use of materials,” Yulo-Loyzaga added. Environment Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources led a series of public consultations for the IRR in different regions across the country. “The consultation solicited insights and contributions from the different sectors including nongovernment organizations, academic institutions, local government units and the private sector. Among the private sector representatives were sanitary landfill operators, manufacturing corporations and recycling/ upcycling companies,” Leones said. Leones added that the last series of regional public consultations was held on Nov. 3, 2022 that was attended by over 650 participants. The dialogues were supported by the United Nations Development Program and the Government of Japan. “The success of the implementation of the EPR Law heavily depends on the cooperation and compliance of the private sector. It is always important to recognize the voices of different sectors and the public consultations provided everyone the venue to share and exchange their ideas that contributed to the crafting of the IRR,” Leones said. Under the IRR, large-scale enterprises are expected to initiate efforts on plastic recovery and diversion schemes as mandated by the EPR. The IRR also includes an online registry where producers and manufacturers need to register their information. Yulo-Loyzaga said the implementation of EPR Law is a crucial step to the Philippines’ transition to the circular economy. “Corporations with total assets of over P100 million will be required to recover a certain percentage of their plastic packaging waste, or else pay a fine. Companies shall be responsible for allocating resources to support the collection, recovery, transportation, processing, recycling and disposal of plastic packaging wastes in environmentally sound ways,” she added. Yulo-Loyzaga said that with the passage of the law, the Philippines was included in a select group of states that promulgate EPR, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Columbia, Peru and Brazil. The EPR sets incremental targets that should be fulfilled yearly until 2030. For 2023, obliged companies must recover 20 percent of their plastic footprint. Producers, distributors and retailers implementing initiatives under the EPR law will be eligible for tax incentives. Fines ranging from P5 million to P20 million will be imposed for failure to comply with the provisions and meet the target recovery rates of the EPR.