June 14, 2024

Establishments using single-use plastic for their products are encouraged to set up a system for them to collect back or recover their packaging containers and lessen plastic pollution in the communities.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong believes this can be a long-term corporate social responsibility project among plastic producing companies to strengthen community efforts in addressing global warming and climate change impacts.

The mayor seeks to meet with plastic producing companies to reiterate his call, particularly the distributors of water bottles, soft drinks, and other products using sachet packaging since these are the majority of wastes collected in the central business district during cleanup activities.

Maria Victoria Tenefrancia of the Zero Waste Baguio, Inc. (ZWBI) said the city and volunteer groups may be conducting information and education campaigns on the harmful effects of plastic pollution, but as long as plastic is being allowed as a product packaging by large corporations, pollution will remain.

“The answer to plastic pollution is to reduce the production of plastic by big companies on a global scale,” Tenefrancia said.

Lingling Claver, also of ZWBI, said plastic production uses fuel and, in the process, emits greenhouse gases which add to the heat index and global warming, thus the need to advocate against plastic pollution in the national and global scale.

The City General Services Office collects an average of 200 tons of non-biodegradable waste every day, mostly plastics. 

These are to be sorted at the staging area of the city at the Dairy Farm before being hauled out to an engineered sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac.

In 2022, the Extended Producer Responsibility Act (EPRA) was passed into law amending Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 to institutionalize the extended producer responsibility on plastic packaging waste.

The EPRA requires obliged enterprises, by themselves or collectively, with or without a producer responsibility organization to prepare and register with the National Solid Waste Management Commission their EPR programs to reduce and/or recover for reuse, recycling, treatment, or proper ecological disposal the plastic packaging waste that they release or released to the domestic market. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan