Legarda refiles bill against single-use plastics

FILE PHOTO: The 2021 Oxford University’s Our World in Data report says about 80 percent of global ocean plastic comes from Asian rivers, and the Philippines accounts for a third of that. Plastic waste literally covers some of the Philippines’ coastal areas as can be seen in this January 2019 photo off the shores of Baseco in Tondo, Manila. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Loren Legarda has refiled a bill that aims to eliminate single-use plastics and improve responsibility schemes for companies and businesses to address the growing plastic pollution crisis in the country.

Legarda said Thursday, that the behavior and mindset on single-use plastics should be corrected by adopting more sustainable practices like recycling, consumption reduction, and proper waste disposal to help mitigate the harmful effects of waste pollution.

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“The plastic crisis we face right now calls for rethinking our approaches to our governance and market systems and operations. We need to sustain this growing movement on sustainability and circularity by improving our policies, implementing more adequate interventions from the public and private sectors, and opening more spaces where citizens can support and take lead in addressing single-use plastics,” Legarda said in a statement.

READ: Legarda files bill banning single-use plastic products

Legarda likewise demanded companies for more effective policies and solutions in plastic waste management and suggested incentivizing consumers to help alleviate plastic pollution.

The senator also pushed for a stronger implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, mandating the installation of recovery facilities in barangays and the issuance of a list of non-environmentally acceptable materials and products – a law she authored which was signed into law in 2001.

READ: Legarda wants environmental laws enforced

Based on the World Bank’s 2021 study on Plastic Circularity, only 22% of the total material value of plastics is unlocked in the Philippines resulting in millions of losses per year of potential material value to the country’s economy.

READ: WB backs marine plastic waste reduction in Asean, PH