Villar: Plastic wastes remain PH’s major environmental problem

Published June 6, 2021, 11:00 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Cynthia Villar on Sunday, June 6, reiterated her call for the government to come up with a solid waste management strategy to address the overwhelming volume of plastic wastes, which remains a major environmental problem for the Philippines.

“A 2015 University of Georgia study revealed that the Philippines is the world’s third largest source of plastic waste leaking into the ocean, next to China and Indonesia,” said Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

“Plastic wastes in the ocean destroy marine life and the oceans’ ecosystem. And so, our plastic waste problem is an environmental issue we need to urgently address if we are to help in ecosystem restoration and in the conservation of our oceans,” Villar stressed.

Villar, who is part of the twin celebration of World Environment Day on June 5 and Oceans Day on June 8, renewed her push for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1331 or the proposed Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Act which seeks to amend the 20-year old Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

The bill primarily seeks to institutionalize the practice of EPR in waste management and use it as a strategy to reduce the proliferation of single-use plastics that end up in the oceans and pollute the environment.

The measure will to ensure that the responsibility for the entire life of cycle of plastic products rests on the manufacturers.

It also mandates manufacturers to recover plastic wastes from their products as a mechanism towards achieving an efficient solid waste management.

“I hope all sectors of our society will come together to strengthen our collaboration and our collective action towards eliminating our plastic waste problem,” the senator said.

“I am looking forward for our country to achieve success in this within the decade,” the lawmaker added.