Philippines Philippines bans unnecessary single-use plastics in government offices

On February 24, 2020, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines announced the ban of “unnecessary” single-use plastics in all domestic government offices. This Resolution was approved by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) chaired by DENR Secretary Cimatu.

 

The outline of NSWMC Resolution No. 1363, Series of 2020, signed by Secretary Cimatu this time is as follows.

  • Directs the DENR to “prepare and implement” the ban of the use of “unnecessary” single-use plastics in National Government Agencies, Local Government Units offices, and all other government controlled offices.
  • The plastic products to be banned are as follows.
    • Plastic cups (less than 0.2 mm in thickness), straws, stirrers, spoons, forks, and knives
    • Plastic labo and thin-filmed sando bags less than 15 microns in thickness

 

Secretary Cimatu commented, “The NSWMC Resolution is a major step towards curbing the use of single-use plastic products that pollute our waters, kill marine life, and contribute to the increase in solid waste.” Cimatu also said that the DENR will issue specific guidelines on the ban of plastic products announced this time, which forms a part of the government’s strategy to avoid and minimize solid waste.

 

Benny D. Antiporda, the DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units, explained that the decision to ban only eight items was “a balanced judgement by the NSWMC considering that the ban can only be imposed on single-use plastics that have available alternatives.” In this regard, a DENR official explained that Section 29 of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act stipulates that “non-environmentally acceptable products shall not be prohibited unless the NSWMC first finds that there are alternatives which are available to consumers at no more than 10 percent greater cost than the disposable product.”

 

The original text of NSWMC Resolution No. 1363, Series of 2020, Directing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Prepare and Implement the Banning of the Use of Unnecessary Single-Use Plastics by National Government Agencies, Local Government Units Offices and All Other Government Controlled Offices can be downloaded from the following URL.
https://emb.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-NSWMC-RESO-NO.-1363-SERIES-OF-2020-SINGLE-USE-PLASTICS.pdf