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  • Writer's pictureThe Manila Times

Recycling Coalition Steps Up on Zero-Waste Commitment

THE Philippine Alliance of Recycling and Materials (PARMS), an industry-wide nonstock and nonprofit coalition of stakeholders across the supply and waste value chain, laid out plans to step up their Zero Waste to Nature roadmap, which aims to implement up-to-date sustainable practices and systems across the industry and the country to reduce, collect and recycle waste.

DENR officials, led by Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna (center), hold up the PARMS EPR Program plan presented by PARMS President Crispian Lao at this year’s 22nd signing anniversary of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. PHOTO FROM PARMS

This declaration of commitment, which was first announced in 2020, was reaffirmed in PARMS' recent gathering for the 22nd Signing Anniversary of Republic Act (RA) 9003.

RA 9003, or the "Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000," mandates a necessary policy framework, institutional mechanisms and mandate to the local government units (LGUs) to achieve 25-percent waste reduction through establishing an integrated solid waste management plan based on 3Rs — reduce, reuse and recycle.

The two-day conference recently held in Quezon City discussed the new Extended Producers RA 11898, explaining how enterprises are mandated to divert a certain percentage of their verifiable plastic footprint year on year.

"In 2023, we mark the start of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) journey in achieving a waste-free Philippines," said Commissioner Crispian Lao, vice chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Commission and the founding president of PARMS.

In 2020, PARMS also announced Zero Waste to Nature: Ambition 2030 to reduce, collect and recycle waste with the 2025 sustainable packaging commitments.

Other industry partners include Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) and Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies Inc. (BEST) also showcased their programs to aid in post-consumer plastic collection.

"With the commitment and support of the government, private sector, civil society and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), we can kick-start plastic waste circularity while investing in the waste sector and its many workers and groups." Lao highlighted the opportunity for green jobs.

"We need to change the mindsets fundamentally about plastics and focus where plastic streams are seen as a resource with value. Only with this value proposition is realized, we will see positive change," said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Toni Loyzaga in her keynote address during the conference, as read by Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna. "We look forward to the successful implementation of the new EPR Act, and as we continue to harmonize our efforts in reducing the country's plastic waste to achieve plastic neutrality."

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