Senator Joel Villanueva has filed a bill seeking to improve the country's waste disposal management of beverage containers.
According to a recent study of Ocean Conservancy, a US environmental organization, majority of almost 8 million tons of plastic that enters the world's seas comes from just five countries including the Philippines. Others are China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Senator 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," he said.
In Senate Bill No. 1032 or "An Act Requiring the Implementation by Brand Owners of Management Plans that Provide Refund Values for Certain Beverage Containers", the beverage industry is mandated to prepare, submit, and implement a management plan that sets out an effective disposal mechanism and accounting of beverage containers.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) may prescribe to the beverage container agency a management plan for the collection, transport, reuse, and recycling of beverage containers that it sells into the domestic market.
The bill also 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. The proposed refund value of a beverage container is P10.00.
"We want to impose discipline among Filipinos on the importance of proper waste management and recycling. 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 said.