A bill that seeks to address plastic pollution by making businesses responsible for recycling will be approved on third reading by next week, one of its principal authors said on Friday.

Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille A. Villar said House Bill (HB) 10696 or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 is set for approval on final reading once the House of Representatives resumes session on Monday.

“The [EPR] Bill is scheduled for Third Reading approval on Monday, January 31, before session adjourns,” she told BusinessWorld in a mobile phone message.

The measure, which Ms. Villar authored, aims to prevent plastic waste from leaking into the environment and create a system where companies will be held more accountable for their plastic products.

Under the bill, the Department of Natural Resources would create a national framework for all kinds of product waste to reduce wastes that are harmful to the environment.

Companies will also need to make programs to reduce their production, use and importation of plastic products.

Violators could be charged from P1 million to P20 million and could lose their business permits.

Ms. Villar said that for small and medium-sized businesses to follow environment-friendly policies, they should be educated about the effects of using plastic.

in a Viber statement released on Thursday, Ms. Villar said: “There are ways to recycle and reuse that do not require a lot of capital. We need to educate our entrepreneurs about the negative effects of not recycling and teaching them about the technology that is not expensive and easy to execute.”

HB 10696 was approved on second reading on Tuesday and a committee report was submitted by the House Committee on Ecology on the same day. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan