Businesses urged to comply with EPR, decrease plastic footprint | Inquirer News

Businesses urged to comply with EPR, decrease plastic footprint

/ 05:05 AM November 13, 2023

Businesses urged to comply with EPR, decrease plastic footprint stock images

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reiterated its call for businesses to comply with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act and register their initiatives on plastic waste management.

“Since EPR programs might be relatively new to many companies, we expect that more enterprises will submit their programs once they better understand how to operationalize modes of implementation into their businesses,” Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said in a statement on Sunday.


Leones earlier allayed concerns about possible penalties for businesses, saying that the agency was focused on discussing the incentives for those that will comply with the EPR law.


Republic Act No. 11898, or the EPR Act of 2022, mandates “obliged enterprises,” or companies with total assets exceeding P100 million, to register their EPR programs with the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

The EPR law indicates that by the end of 2023, they must recover 20 percent of their generated plastic product footprint with incremental targets for fulfillment each year until 80 percent is reached by 2028.

READ: DOST sees ‘nuclear solution’ vs plastic pollution

Tax incentives

According to the DENR, brand owners, product manufacturers, or importers of consumer goods that implement the EPR initiatives would be eligible for tax incentives.

On the other hand, those that are noncompliant with the provision of the law and the target plastic waste recovery rates could face fines ranging from P5 million to P20 million.

During the International Conference on Circular Economy in Muntinlupa City on Nov. 8, Assistant Environment Secretary Daniel Darius Nicer urged business entities to consider the cost of environmental degradation in developing their business models, as the country gradually transitions to a “circular economy.”

“We need to have a paradigm shift. [The firms] should include into the cost of the business the protection and conservation of the environment,” Nicer said at a press briefing.


Maria Lourdes Ferrer, director of the DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, explained that the Philippine economy still follows the traditional linear business model.

This is evident in the “sachet culture” wherein businesses package their products in small and affordable single-use plastics that end up being discarded, adding to the worsening plastic pollution problem in the country.

“What we hope to achieve with the circular economy … is that they won’t need to dispose of the plastics anymore. We will look at the possibility of reusing or recycling the waste,” Ferrer said.

Nicer pointed out that the “reduce, reuse and recycle” approach had been there for a long time and it focused on the consumers or households that buy the products packaged in plastics.

READ: DENR says only 17 percent of PH companies complying with law on plastics

Reducing waste

Under the circular economy, he said the producers of plastics will have an active role as they are “major players in the economy” that need to lead the efforts in reducing the production of waste before it reaches the consumer.

Felix Jose Vitangcol of the nonprofit organization Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship said one of the challenges encountered by businesses in complying with the EPR law is the additional costs on their operations, on top of their current expenses.

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While there are companies that would want to support the policy, he said they remained unsure about how they would “effectively and strategically implement the recycling process.”

TAGS: Extended Producer Responsibility Act, plastic waste management

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