Compliance and support among the private sector, especially the obliged enterprises (OE), is crucial to the effective implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Law.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) aims to get OEs to register their EPR programs with the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to meet the law’s required 20% recovery and diversion of their plastic footprint by this year. To help companies understand what EPR is and how they might undertake an EPR program, the DENR has been holding webinars and workshops with various industry associations to spread awareness about the EPR law and its provisions, as well as the EPR registration process.
“We are here to assist. We have EPR clinics. We can help you on the procedures on how to register and we can guide you on the requirements of the EPR law. Together, if we can help each other, perhaps at the end of the day, we can comply with the provisions of the law,” said Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones.
As such, the DENR, together with Nestle Philippines held the second leg of the “Rethinking Plastics: EPR Paving the Way Towards Circularity” roundtable discussion on September 22, 2023 at the Bai Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu with the aim of encouraging more OEs to register their EPR programs. OEs are large enterprises with total assets of over Php 100 million and that produce, manufacture, import, or put their brand label on plastics. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are not required, but highly encouraged, to also register their EPR programs.
The event provided participants guidance on the process of registration, and presented opportunities on how they can work together with the government to help in ensuring the successful implementation of the EPR Law. Moreover, EPR Registry clinics were set up by DENR, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to further assist OEs in creating and submitting their EPR programs.
Highlights from the Synthesis Report from the first EPR RTD held in Manila last May were also shared during the program, including the key takeaways and recommendations taken from the panel and roundtable discussions. Among these are the value of data-driven measures, collaboration between the private and public sectors, and among multiple stakeholders, investing in infrastructure for solid waste management and recycling, and driving consumer education when implementing the EPR Law.
This was followed by an informative and insightful panel discussion led by DENR Undersecretary Annaliza Rebuelta-Teh; DENR Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones, CESO I; Mr. Jose Uy III, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestle Philippines; and Dr. Johannes Paul, Project Manager, GIZ-BIB Office about the value of EPR on the country’s journey toward circularity.
Lastly, there were three RTDs dedicated for participants to dive deeper into the ins-and-outs of the EPR Law implementation: (1) investing in infrastructure, (2) increasing compliance through data and information, and (3) deepening long-term multi-stakeholder collaboration. Insights and recommendations shared during the respective discussions were presented to the audience afterwards.
Since the DENR’s EPR campaign launch in August, there has been an increase in EPR submissions from 667 to 709 as of mid-September. DENR and other government partners in EPR implementation, business groups, and civil society organizations continue to proactively campaign for EPR support, recognizing that cleaning up plastic waste from the environment not only restores the planet but protects human health, livelihoods and food security.
The EPR education and registration drive organized by the DENR and Nestlé Philippines is supported by UNDP, GIZ, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), and Eco-Business. The third leg of the caravan will be held in Cagayan de Oro City on October 6, 2023 to reach more OEs and businesses. For details, visit https://www.eco-business.com/
Interested participants can also contact the DENR-EMB EPR Team through the EPR Hotline: +632 8539-4378, loc 186 and 135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org