STOCK PHOTO | Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Thursday that more than 500 companies have registered to comply with Republic Act 11898 or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022, which holds companies responsible for managing the impact of their product packaging over their full life cycle.

“Since we launched the EPR program, more than 500 private companies have registered. We also hope to simplify the entire process. I’m hopeful with the EPR program, having heard the willingness of the private sector to be part of the program,” Environment Undersecretary Carlos Primo C. David said during a Stratbase ADR Institute briefing.

“After we collect all the plastics collected by the producers themselves, what do we do with it? Maybe one alternative, beyond recycling, is waste-to-energy,” he said.

According to Mr. David, among the projects being proposed to the DENR are reclamation, offshore wind power, offshore quarrying, and waste-to-energy projects.

Apart from reclamation, he noted that the rest are new .so there is a need to develop systems for project evaluation and monitoring once they are in operation.

Environment Management Bureau Director Gilbert C. Gonzales noted that the “linear” approach of waste management must shift to a “circular economy” model, which minimizes waste and incentivizes recycling.

Climate Reality Project Philippine Branch Manager Nazrin D. Castro said that shifting to the circular economy model “can help avoid excessive consumption, waste, and use of fossil fuels by using, reusing, repairing, and recycling existing materials and products.”

According to a survey conducted by Pulse Asia, 8 out of 10 Filipinos expressed a preference for products and services produced by firms that they believed to be environmentally responsible.

“Given this message, there is at least one challenge and this is for firms to satisfy this preference by providing products and services within the reach of consumers,” Pulse Asia President Ronald D. Holmes said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera