Developing EPR-readiness of the Waste Diversion System of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

The Philippines has been grappling with a significant plastic waste problem, with a considerable amount ending up in marine environments due to inadequate waste management infrastructure and practices. It is reported that of the estimated 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste generated annually, a substantial portion of 20% leaks into ocean environments (Schachter & Karasik. 2022). To tackle plastic waste entering marine environments, implementing a circular economy offers a strategic approach by emphasizing reuse, recycling, and responsible consumption.

Recently, the principles of plastic circularity and extended producer responsibility (EPR) have gained significant traction in the Philippines as important strategies in combating the issue of plastic pollution and fostering sustainable waste management practices. The Extended Producers Responsibility bill was passed into a law on 23 July, 2022, also known as RA11898 (Extended producer Responsibility Law) after a series of nationwide public consultations. It was formulated in accordance with “Polluter Pays Principle” wherein those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it. The law aims to provide a more effective policy instrument by amending the provisions of R.A. 9003 (Solid Waste Management Act) and introduce measures that extend the obligation of the plastic packaging producer to more plastic collaboration with various stakeholders to form a holistic circular economy that will minimize
pollution while maximizing the use of plastic materials.

Developed under the Healthy Oceans and Clean Cities Initiative, this paper looks at the development of the EPR-readiness waste diversion system in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro. It also looks at the existing local initiatives, plans, and policies that can be advantageous for EPR implementation in the city. The paper also showed the mapping of waste diversion chain and networks in Calapan. It also detailed the mobile application system for waste collection and compilation of recording system in Calapan City and issued recommendations to improve data on waste collection and recording.

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