September 16, 2021

Bicol Express News

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Passage of House Bill on Single-Use Plastic Regulation pushes Eco Groups resolve to end plastic pollution

Photo: Eco Warrior Princess

Quezon City, Philippines —The pollution watchdog, EcoWaste Coalition, lauded the House of Representatives for passing a national regulation on single-use plastic, which signifies a first step towards eradicating plastic pollution in the country.

“We welcome the timely passage of House Bill 9147, and we now challenge our Senators to act and pass a stronger national single-use plastic regulation.”

The Senate version should promote genuine solutions to curb plastic production and consumption and should not promote dirty solutions such as incineration and thermal treatment,” said Coleen Salamat, Plastic Solutions Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

With 190 affirmative votes, zero negative, the House of Representatives approved in the final reading House Bill 9147 last July 28, 2021.

The bill sets a gradual phase-out period for different plastic products and imposes accountability to plastic producers and manufacturers.

Similar bills on the regulation of single-use plastics have been filed in the Senate since 2019 but, so far, none of the bills had moved beyond the Committee level.

2020 data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau, revealed that four hundred and eighty-eight (488) local government units have ordinances banning single-use plastics.

With this, the stand of the local government against plastic pollution is evident.

“We only have a few weeks left in the legislative calendar, and with the 2022 national elections fast approaching, we believe that now is the right time to pass the national regulation on single-use plastics. Our environment and communities cannot afford to go back to start with this bill in the new Congress,” said Salamat.

It can be recalled that in 2019, Palace officials warmed up to the idea of a plastic ban.

As the Lower House passed House Bill 9147, the group urged the Philippine Senate to act in response to this.

With the increasing plastic consumption due to the pandemic, plastic waste is estimated to increase by 300%.