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Single-use plastics among the ‘most pervasive kind of waste’ – Paolo Duterte

By Billy Begas

Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte has renewed his call for the passage of a measure that will regulate the manufacture, sale, use, and importation of single-use plastics products, in line with his advocacy of building a greener and more sustainable economy for the country’s future generations.

Duterte made the reiteration in time for Earth Month which takes place every April and Earth Day on April 22.

Duterte was joined by Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, Quezon City Rep. Ralph Tulfo, and ACT-CIS party-list Representatives Edvic Yap and Jocelyn Tulfo in filing the proposed Single-Use Plastic Products Regulation Act (House Bill 507).

“As we mark Earth Day on April 22, I urge my colleagues in Congress to act on this bill and similar other pending measures so that we can finally phase out single-use plastic products, which remain among the most pervasive kind of waste that pollute our land, choke our oceans and bring harm to our precious marine resources,” Duterte said.

HB 507 is pending before the House Committee on Ecology since July 2022.

Duterte noted that in Davao City, an ordinance banning single-use plastics and regulating their sale and distribution has been in place since 2021. Duterte also launched the Save the Earth–No To Plastics Bags Movement in his district.

Although the House of Representatives has already approved a bill imposing a P100 excise tax on each kilo of single-use plastic bags, a measure regulating their eventual phase-out, recycling, and disposal has yet to be enacted, according to Duterte.

HB 507, Duterte said proposes a gradual phase-out of single-use plastics such as utensils, tableware, containers, packaging, straws, stirrers, sachets, and pouches within a period of one to four years.

According to the authors of the bill, the Philippines is among the world’s top contributors to marine plastic pollution, with coastal areas in Manila Bay alone releasing 280,000 to 750,000 tons of plastic waste into the oceans annually.

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