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Sen. Villar pushes for plastic waste management to counter wasteful ‘sachet economy’

Senator Cynthia Villar is calling for intensified plastic waste management in the country, saying many Filipinos continue to patronize products in sachet packaging.

“The Philippines has become a sachet economy. Lahat po ng sari-sari store sa Pilipinas kapag nagbebenta sila ng produkto, lahat nasa sachet kasi ang namimili naman po sa mga sari-sari store ay mga mahihirap nating kababayan so they can only afford sachet,” Villar said during an environmental forum in Taguig City.

The country should promote a shift from the existing linear economic model to a circular model, she noted.

“The circular model is all about keeping the resources in circulation or in a loop for as long as possible so it would mean lesser or eventually no more plastics reaching our seas and polluting our water,” Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said.

“It is beyond recycling,” she added.

While the ban on single-use plastics is still up for discussion among stakeholders, the concept of producer responsibility should be introduced in waste management laws.

“Ang gusto natin ‘yung extended producers’ responsibility, that is their responsibility to recycle their wastes. Kasi when you say a ban, may kapalit ba sa packaging? That's the question. So we have to hear them kung ano ang alternative nila sa single-use plastic,” Villar noted.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ 2020 budget includes funding for establishing a plastic recycling factory in every province.

On the sidelines of the same forum, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the local government will implement a ban on plastic bags starting January 2020.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, on the other hand, said the country’s capital was able to reduce its plastic waste by 50 tons in one month through a partnership with the private sector on buying back discarded plastic materials. —VDS, GMA News