MUNTINLUPA Representative Ruffy Biazon has filed a bill proposing the ban on single-use plastic in the Philippines.
House Bill 7903, entitled "An Act Providing for the Phase-out of Single-Use Plastic Products in the Country," seeks to institute mechanisms to prevent and reduce the impact of plastic products on the environment and on human health.
Single-use plastic products as defined under the bill are those that are “made wholly or partly from plastic and that is not conceived, designed or placed on the market to accomplish, within its life span, multiple trips or rotation by being returned to the producer for refill or reused for the same purpose for which it was conceived such as, but not limited to, plastic straws, plastic cups and lids, shrink wrap and other packaging for products.”
The sale and use of single-use plastic products shall be banned three years after the bill's effectivity.
Thus, groceries, markets, restaurants and fast food chains are prohibited from using or selling single-use plastic products.
Violators will pay a fine of P10,000 up to P200,000 while third time offenders shall also suffer a one year suspension of their business permit.
The bill provides for the adoption of a phase-out plan within six months after the bill's passage, prior to the total ban.
The phase-out plan shall have the following components, at the minimum: consumption reduction program; extended producer responsibility schemes; biodegradable alternatives for single-use plastic products; fiscal and non-fiscal rewards and incentives; separate collection plan; and awareness-raising measures and information campaign.
Biazon believes that the bill should be acted upon with urgency given the damage plastic products is causing to the environment.
“The oceans are drowning in plastic. We must act now. Otherwise, we will be contributing to the faster demise of the oceans, end eventually, the planet,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)