Now that RA 11898 or known as the Extended Producer Responsibility has lapsed into law, companies are mandated to adopt and implement Extended Producer Responsibility programs for their plastic packaging wastes.

On October 21, Friday, a public consultation for Mindanao Cluster was held for the formulation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11898. DENR is tasked to craft the IRR in 90 days since its effectivity.

EMB has conducted a series of focus group discussions with various agencies and organizations.

Local government units and stakeholders formulated the IRR during the public consultation, which was led by the United Nations Development Program in coordination with the DENR-EMB through the Office of the Assistant Director as newly designated Head of the National Ecology Center (NEC) in her ex officio capacity and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Division.

EMB Director William Cuñado urged the participants to share thoughts and suggestions to further enhance the key components of the IRR “to ensure the successful management of plastic packaging waste”.

“We aimed to come up with a concrete, workable solutions to address our mounting plastic waste problem”, Director Cuñado added.

He also added that the UNDP provides technical assistance in the formulation of IRR and the national framework for EPR as part of the project, “Accelerating Nationally Determined Contribution Through the Circular Economy In Cities Project” funded by the Japan Government.

Further, he added that many countries have adopted the EPR framework and have well-established EPR framework.

Lapsed into law on July 23, 2022, the new law amended some of the provisions of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act to include among others, the Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging and reconstitution of the National Solid Waste Management Commission who shall approve and oversee registered EPR Programs.

Plastic packaging that are included in the Act are sachets, labels, laminates and other flexible plastic packaging products, rigid plastic packaging products, plastic bags, which include single-use plastic bags, and polystyrene.

Fines and penalties will be charged against enterprises who fail to comply with the provisions of the law to ensure proper plastic packaging waste management.