MANILA – The House of Representatives approved a bill banning single-use plastics in its final reading on Wednesday evening to better tackle the pollution associated with these single-use items.
With 190 votes in favor, zero votes against and one abstention, the Chamber passed House Law 9147 in third reading, which covers manufacture, import, sale, distribution, supply, use, recovery, collection, recycling and the disposal of single regulates – use plastic products.
Spokesman Lord Allan Velasco, a lead author, said the measure aims to protect life, both land and water, from plastic pollution hazards and to ensure that non-compostable, single-use plastic products do not get into nature.
“The measure also provides for steps to eventually phase out single-use plastic products, a step that is going in the right direction from all sides,” said Velasco.
In addition, the circular economy is to be promoted through the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic waste.
The bill provides for the production, import, sale, distribution, supply and use of disposable plastic drinking straws, stir sticks, candy sticks, balloon sticks, cotton swabs, bunting, confetti and packaging or bags to cease within one year less than 10 microns thick.
In addition, single-use plastic items such as dishes, foil packaging, packaging or bags with a thickness of less than 50 micrometers, bags and pouches, oxo-degradable plastics and styrofoam food and beverage containers are to be phased out within four years.
The bill mandates the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to formulate an exit plan for single-use plastic waste within six months, with components to reduce consumption, increase recycling, make manufacturers accountable, develop alternatives and Awareness.
It obliges trading companies to promote reusable, recyclable and on-demand products in their stores, charge customers PHP 5.00 for each plastic bag or single-use plastic used for take-away or delivery service, and return used plastic to customers facilitate products in the store.
It aims to punish offenders with fines ranging from PHP 50,000 to PHP 500,000 for small businesses and PHP 250,000 to PHP 1,000,000 for larger businesses. (PNA)