1 kilo of plastic waste for a kilo of rice pushed

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Though some Filipino families are now into sorting and segregating their garbage, many more are just dumping all wastes into garbage bags for trucks to pick up. They all end up in the landfills for the scavengers to sort and earn from.

 

A novel way of encouraging segregation and disposing such plastics and non-hazardous but reusable metal wastes was proposed by Rep. Harlin Neil Abayon III, AANGAT Tayo partylist and deputy minority leader, by providing a 1 kilo commercial rice in exchange for 1 kilo of plastic wastes and 2 kilos of rice for reusable metal wastes to be given at the identified redemption centers.

 

He filed House Bill 9170 granting direct incentives to consumers who segregate recyclable plastics and bring them to redemption centers in exchange for consumer items, or cash equivalent.

 

"It is not enough that we appeal to Filipinos to return their plastic bottles and wrappers, and other solid wastes to redemption centers. The thought of having to go back to the store carrying a load or bags of recyclable solid waste is not an attractive proposition," Abayon said.

 

"However, when that prospect is matched and rewarded, consumers will think twice, especially when the reward is enticing like one kilo of commercial rice for every kilo of plastic waste deposited at the redemption center," he added.

 

Abayon explained that the consumers "will now want to segregate their waste at home, in their kitchen. They will have a bag or box in the kitchen or sala where they will collect all plastic bottles, wrappers, and containers. They will not mix their recyclable waste with their food waste."

 

"When Filipino families do their general house cleaning and knowing there are incentives for proper disposal of recyclable waste and junk, they will now set aside the disposables in a large bag or a large and go to the nearest materials recovery facility to exchange their junk and waste for cash or basic goods their families can use," the millennial solon said.

 

"This is what we envision to happen when this bill is enacted into law. A whole nation actively engaged in segregating and recycling their waste because they are well-motivated to do so. Altruism and civic duty are good, but the fervor does not last for everyone. This bill would keep that fire of love for the environment alive and burning," Abayon said.

 

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The lead implementing agency is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which will collaborate with the Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Industry in encouraging individuals, households, civic associations, parents-teachers associations, homeowners associations, and non-profit institutions to gather and exchange collected non-hazardous and recyclable solid wastes.

 

Examples of solid wastes are plastic  (PET) bottles, wrappers, bags, sachets, metal canisters, unserviceable or used electrical and electronic devices, discarded hardware and recyclable computer parts.

 

The bill seeks to incentivize surrendered solid wastes with rice, water, canned goods, basic household consumer items, or cash.

 

It sets reasonable and compliance-inducing exchange values for graduated weights or volumes of solid wastes surrendered is among the mandates given DENR, DA, and DTI.

 

For hazardous waste recovery, the bill authorizes the DENR, DTI, and DA to establish a Hazardous Waste Recovery Protocol and Reporting System, through which individuals may report the exact location and details of the suspected hazardous waste.

 

Specially-trained and equipped personnel or teams may be deployed to safely recover the confirmed hazardous waste. The Hazardous Waste Recovery Protocols and Reporting System shall have a Cash Rewards feature to encourage the public to help government pinpoint and confirm the exact location of hazardous wastes.

 

For large-scale, corporate-level systemic recovery of solid wastes, the DENR, DTI, and Department of Finance would be tasked to adapt the Carbon Credits system for reducing carbon emissions to the realm of solid waste recovery and reduction.

 

National government agencies shall also enable private corporations and government-owned or controlled corporations to establish special purpose corporations or joint ventures with the specific mission of redeeming and recovering plastic wastes. Enabling shall include a combination of mechanisms and incentives designed for corporate social responsibility programs and non-tax incentives.

 

 

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