Since the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act or Republic Act 11898 was passed into law in July 2022 with its Implementing Rules and Regulations issued in January 2023, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported that 622 out of around 4,000 – or 16 per cent – obliged enterprises (OEs) in the Philippines have submitted their EPR programmes.
Much more needs to be done to enable OEs and other companies to comply with the law, which, if implemented well, promises positive ecological, societal, and economic outcomes. Beyond being legislation that aims to urgently stem plastic waste pollution in the country, the EPR Act presents an opportunity for social inclusion by transforming the informal waste sector – an important cog moving the country’s progress on the circular economy forward.
In support of ongoing multi-stakeholder engagements towards the effective nationwide implementation of the EPR Act with the DENR and United Nations Development Programme’s LOOPFORWARD national campaign, Nestle´Philippines is once again hosting its banner roundtable discussion, “Rethinking plastics: EPR paving the way towards circularity” in Cebu City on 22 September 2023.
During the high-level event, Nestle´ aims to provide guidance to OEs on how to register to the DENR’s EPR registry, and explore ways businesses can work together with the government to successfully implement the EPR ACT.
The event will also be a platform to present the findings of Nestle´’s synthesis report, which surfaced both challenges and opportunities on the EPR Act implementation from the first RTD in Manila held in May. This RTD gathered information and feedback from over 300 stakeholders representing food manufacturers, co-processing facilities, consumer goods groups, packaging firms, policy leaders, and non-profit actors.
The Cebu leg of the roundtables will also invite stakeholders to attempt to answer the “How” based on the report findings, therefore building actionable steps for the consideration of the public and private sectors. The Cebu event will also provide DENR with the opportunity to conduct a walk-through of the EPR Registry, and for UNDP to set up EPR Registry clinics to help OEs with a written EPR to create and submit their EPR programmes.