The Philippines House of Representatives is reported to have voted unanimously on July 28, 2021, to prohibit the production, import, and sale of many single-use food packaging products. If the bill goes on to pass in the Senate, non-compostable plastic products like plates, cups, cutlery, expanded polystyrene, film wrap, and sachets would be phased out within four years, and other products such as straws, stirrers, and bags thinner than 10 microns within one year.
According to local paper The Manila Standard, Speaker of the House Allen Velasco stated, “the Philippines is one of the world’s top five countries that contribute to plastic wastes causing marine pollution. Thus, it behooves our country to start prohibiting the use and spread of plastics in order to preserve the environment for future generations.” The majority of aquatic and marine litter is composed of single-use plastic food packaging (FPF reported). Research by Meier et al. published in Science Advances in April found the Philippines to be the largest contributing country of marine plastic pollution from rivers, with 4820 rivers emitting 356,371 metric tons of plastic per year. The Pasig River in the Philippines was the single greatest polluting river in the world according to their model.
The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources records nearly 500 local governments that have passed regulations banning single-use plastics (FPF reported). If the Single-use Plastic Products Regulation Act passes the Senate in the next few weeks, the Department is responsible for designing the specifics of the federal phase-out process.
Jane Bautista, and Jhesset O. Enano (August 2, 2021). “Environmental groups urge Senate to pass bill banning single-use plastics.” Philippine Daily Inquirer
Maricel Cruz (July 29, 2021). “Single-use plastics regulation bill passed.” The Manila Standard
CNN Philippines Staff (July 29, 2021). “House passes bill banning single-use plastics.” CNN Philippines
Meier, Lourens J.J. (April 30, 2021). “More than 1000 rivers account for 80% of global riverine plastic emissions into the ocean.” Science Advances. (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5803)