House OKs bill on gradual phaseout of single-use plastic products
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a measure seeking the gradual phaseout and ban on single-use plastic products.
With 190 affirmative votes, zero negative, and one abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 9147, or the “Single-Use Plastic Products Regulation Act.”
Under the bill, the following noncompostable single-use products will be phased out within four years from the time the measure takes effect:
- plates and saucers
- cups, bowls, and lids
- cutlery such as spoons, forks, knives, and chopsticks
- food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene
- oxo-degradable plastics
- film wrap, packaging, or bags of less than 50 microns in thickness
- sachets and pouches that are multilayered with other materials
Meanwhile, the following products will be phased out within a year from the time the measure takes effect:
- drinking straws
- sticks for candies, balloons, and cotton buds
- packaging or bags of less than 10 microns in thickness
“Thereafter, the production, importation, sale, distribution, provision or use of the said plastic products shall be prohibited,” the measure states.
“Properly labelled flexible disposable plastic drinking straws for persons with special medical conditions shall be allowed, when no suitable reusable or compostable alternatives are available,” it adds.
The measure mandates the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to formulate within six months a phase-out plan on single-use plastic wastes, with components on reducing consumption, increasing recovery, keeping producers accountable, developing alternatives, and raising awareness.
Commercial establishments are also obligated to promote reusable, recyclable, and retrievable products in their stores, charge customers P5 for every plastic bag or single-use plastic used for take-out food and delivery service, and facilitate customer return of used plastic products to the store.
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