Legarda files bill banning single-use plastic products
Senator Loren Legarda has filed a Senate bill seeking to phase out single-use plastic products in the country by prohibiting its importation and use in food establishments, stores, markets, and retailers.
Senate Bill 1948 or the Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2018 aims to regulate the manufacturing, importation, and use of single-use plastic products, and will also provide penalties, levies, and incentives for industries, businesses, and consumers on these activities.
“Plastic bags are ubiquitous components of the world’s consumer culture. Single-use plastics symbolize the throwaway culture, which the Philippines and many other countries have developed,” Legarda said in a statement Thursday.
“Single-use plastics, such as cigarette butts, drinking bottles and caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, lids, straws, stirrers, and take-away containers, are immediately discarded and end up in landfills,” she said.
Legarda said the bill will encourage consumers to use reusable materials, while all single-use plastics already in circulation shall be collected, recycled, and properly disposed of according to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
She said a minimum levy of five pesos will be charged to consumers for each single-use plastic used in transactions. About 20 percent will be kept by the enterprise, while the 80 percent will be remitted to the proposed Special Plastic Fund.
She added that the bill also urges government agencies to conduct research and development on alternatives to single-use plastics and assess impacts on affected industry workers and employees, and develop programs for alternative livelihood opportunities for them.
Meanwhile, businesses involved in the manufacture of alternatives for single-use plastics will also be given incentives provided under existing laws from local government units.
Violators will be fined ranging from P5,000 to P500,000 and permanent suspension of business permit. /jpv
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