Pulse Asia survey: Over 80% Filipino consumers prefer eco-friendly products
MANILA, Philippines — A Pulse Asia survey showed that eight out of 10, or 83 percent, Filipino consumers prefer to purchase eco-friendly brands.
The survey was conducted from November 27 to December 1 last year, which the Stratbase ADR Institute also commissioned.
In a statement, Pulse Asia President Ronald Homes said eight out of 10 Filipinos, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic class, preferred products and services produced by firms that they believe to be environment-friendly.
“The message is clear: a sizable majority of Filipinos will support enterprises that have environment-friendly operations and products,” Homes said when he presented the results during a sustainable and strategic waste management forum.
“Filipinos know that there are certain things that are happening in the country that require us to be more socially conscious. The question now is whether industries or firms will be able to cater to this preference,” he added.
‘The third-largest contributor of plastic’
The Philippines is among the largest contributors of plastic worldwide, annually generating about 2.7 million tons of plastic, based on reports.
To lessen this pollution, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed the implementing rules and regulations of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act.
This measure requires large companies to reduce their plastic footprint by 20 to 80 percent by 2028.
According to DENR Undersecretary Carlos Primo David, since the EPR’s implementation started, 500 companies have already registered to comply with it.
“We hope to make the EPR procedures as straightforward as possible, less paperwork hopefully, and focus first on registering all plastic producers. I am hopeful of the EPR program, having heard of the willingness of the private sector to be part of the program,” said David.
‘A whole-of-society approach’
Addressing the waste pollution and the problem nationwide “entails a whole-of-society approach,” Stratbase ADRI President Dindo Manhit, on the other hand, said.
“While the government plays a key role through the formulation and implementation of policies, industry players are also expected to equally contribute through their investments and programs that enable circular business models,” said Manhit.
He added that consumers and the public must be disciplined “by simply not littering” will help reduce the garbage that clogs cities’ waterways.
For his part, the Management Association of the Philippines Vice President Alexander Cabrera believes that there is a need “to provide incentives and impose taxes to businesses” to address the waste problem in the country effectively.
“There must be an incentive integrated into the EPR or supplement to it when collecting your plastic or repackaging in order for your products to be more environmentally friendly,” Cabrera said.
“Meanwhile, the compulsion of taxing end-of-life plastic use will force people to reinvent their packaging because they don’t want to pay tax. It’s not a question of whether it can be done or not; it’s a question of political will,” he added.
David agreed, saying that “the role of government is to provide incentives and disincentives towards behavior that we want to achieve. We want deeper learning and understanding of issues. First is to put in the policies, then put in the incentives for people to do the behavior that is desired.”