Extended Producer Responsibility in the Philippines
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation has been established in the Philippines, which affects brand owners and some manufacturers and importers. Lucy Dolan outlines who is obligated by EPR for plastic packaging, the products in scope, incentives, and penalties for non-compliance.
The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 was amended with Chapter III-A “EPR” in July 2022 to include the following two articles:
- Act 1. National EPR framework for all types of product wastes – This includes reducing waste and collection of waste
- Act 2. EPR for Plastic Packaging – the goal is to recover or offset in 2023, 20% of their 2022 ‘plastic packaging footprint’. This target will increase each year up to 80% in 2027.
EPR for Plastic Packaging
Who is obligated?
EPR has been established for plastic packaging. Producers and importers of packaged goods and service packaging with assets above PHP 100m (EUR 1.75m) will be required to register with DENR and launch an individual or collective programme. Micro, small, and medium enterprises are not required to register but are highly encouraged. This concerns B2B and B2C sales routes.
Under these regulations, the obligated party is the brand owner. In the absence of a brand owner, the obligation will lie with the product manufacturer or importer that supplies to the general consumer or distributes the same as the material product of the brand owner.
What products will be obligated?
The products in scope under this act include:
- Sachets, labels, laminates, and other flexible plastic packing products (single-layer or multi-layer)
- Rigid plastic packaging products, whether layered with other materials. These include containers for beverages, food home and personal care, cosmetic products including their coverings
- Plastic bags, which include single-use plastic bags for carrying and transporting of goods
Penalties for non-compliance
There will be penalties for producers that are non-compliant. Large enterprises will pay twice the recovery and diversion of their plastic footprint or the fines below (whichever is the higher amount):
- A fine between 5 and 10 million pesos for the first offence
- A fine between 10 and 15 million pesos for the second offence
- A fine between 15 and 20 million pesos for the third offence and automatic suspension of the business permit until the requirement of the law is compiled with
These fines will be the same if an enterprise fails to register with the EPR programme on time. There will also be an audit programme in place to ensure compliance.
There are talks that the law will be encouraging EPR schemes through a reward system. There is an opportunity for large enterprises to apply for a tax incentive following approval – activities must be identified in the qualified activities under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP).
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