Policy review calls for single-use plastics ban
EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
The Manila Times
THERE is a dire need for the passage of House Bill (HB) 9147 or the Singleuse Plastic Products Regulation Act on account of the grave impacts of plastic pollution in the country, according to a policy note recently released by a group of AB Development Studies students at the Ateneo De Manila University and The Climate Reality Project Philippines. The policy note is part of Mag-ASUP Tayo, an advocacy project of the Climate’s Eight from Ateneo and the Youth Cluster of Climate Reality Philippines on antisingle-use plastics (ASUP) policies and practices. Its findings and recommendations were presented during the 28th episode of Climate Reality Philippines’ Klimatotohanan webcast series. The policy review evaluated the local government units (LGUs) of Marikina, Makati and Quezon City according to the impact, efficiency and consistencies of their existing plastic waste management policies. HB 9147 provides for the gradual phase-out of single-use plastics, which it defines as “plastic products designed to be disposed of, destroyed or recycled, after only one use.” Ryan Opinion, head of the Climate’s Eight Policy Note Team, said the passage of HB 9147 would operationalize a national definition of single-use plastics in the country and enable LGUs to act in a streamlined and coordinated manner. In the absence of a law that will ban single-use plastics, Opinion said that the policy note highlighted the need for the National Solid Waste Management Commission to issue and promulgate the NonEnvironmentally Acceptable Products (NEAP) list, as mandated by Republic Act 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.” The NEAP list, which has been overdue for over two decades, would identify and eventually ban products that are deemed harmful to the environment. The policy note discussed best practices from target LGUs that could be adopted by other LGUs to improve their own plastic waste management and reduction systems. For one, it credited consumer-targeted campaigns for effectively evoking behavior changes in plastic consumption among the LGUs’ constituents. “Consumer-targeted campaigns are effective as supporting programs for ordinances that target establishments. Such programs should aim at incentivizing consumers and targeting behavioral change,” Opinion said.