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Lawmaker pushes for passage of plastic-waste disposal bill

Sen. Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva on Wednesday sought the passage of a law, which aims to improve the country’s waste-disposal management of beverage containers.

Villanueva has filed Senate Bill 1032, or the Beverage Container Disposal Act, which mandates the beverage industry to prepare, submit and implement a management plan that sets out an effective disposal mechanism and accounting of beverage containers.

The bill seeks to further encourage proper disposal of beverage containers among consumers by institutionalizing a refund-deposit mechanism. This mechanism mandates the monetary compensation of individuals who will return beverage containers to designated sites, like retail stores, thus creating incentives for proper disposal among the general public.

Beverage containers, especially the ones made of plastic, are dumped into the world’s oceans every year.

According to environmental group Greenpeace, the Philippines is the third-biggest plastic polluter into the ocean next to China and Indonesia.

Villanueva acknowledged the need to improve the waste-disposal management noting that excessive production and use of beverage containers can impose both environmental and health risks, to both humans and animals.

“The government needs to strengthen existing mechanisms for effective disposal of beverage containers by institutionalizing the active participation of both the industry and consumers in reusing and recycling beverage containers,” Villanueva said.

Under the bill, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources may prescribe a management plan for the collection, transport, reuse and recycling of beverage containers that being sold the domestic market.

“We want to impose discipline among Filipinos on the importance of proper waste management and recycling,” the lawmaker said.

“Little by little, we can do so much for our environment and we must strive to remove our country from the list of major contributors of plastic wastes being dumped into the world’s oceans,” Villanueva added.

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