The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with food giant Nestlé Philippines, is hosting a high-level roundtable discussion on the extended producer responsibility (EPR)—its concept, the law, and the best approaches for its successful implementation.

To be held on May 10 in Quezon City, the event entitled “Rethinking Plastics: EPR Paving the Way Towards Circularity” aims to gain proper understanding of Republic Act (RA) 11898 or the EPR Act of 2022 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and to jointly learn key challenges, solutions and opportunities for government-industry collaborations for effective enforcement of the law.

Organized by Eco-Business, the dialogue is expected to gather senior leaders of fast-moving consumer goods sector, development partners, policy leaders, members of the academe, non-government organizations, and key players in waste management to comprehensive discourse through roundtable and panel discussions on RA 11898.

An amendment to RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, the EPR law requires large companies to adopt and implement policies for the proper management of plastic packaging wastes. DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga signed its IRR last January.

The DENR expressed optimism the upcoming event will help mobilize multi-sectors on EPR compliance and aid the government in addressing plastic pollution in the country through the conceptualization of innovative and effective EPR programs.

Guest speakers for the event include Secretary Loyzaga, Nestlé Philippines Chair and CEO Kais Marzouki, and Mr. Michikazu Kojirma, Senior Adviser to the President on Environmental Issues, Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.

Panel discussion speakers are DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, Nestlé Philippines Senior Vice President Head of Corporate Affairs Jose Uy III, and National Solid Waste Management Commission Vice Chair Crispian Lao.

Among the topics in the panel discussion are the challenges of the EPR and the industry in terms of the circular economy, role of technology in the EPR implementation, ways to improve the informal waste sector, solutions in addressing flexible plastics, and urgent steps to taken by the private and public sectors.

Meanwhile, topics in the roundtable discussion include identifying potential challenges of the EPR law and solutions through stakeholder collaboration, sharing of best EPR practices in key Asian markets and deployable plastic recovery and reduction programs, exploration on industry-government collaborations, and strength of the recycling infrastructure.

Steering the roundtable discussions are DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones, and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Luzon and Visayas and concurrent Environmental Management Bureau Director Gilbert Gonzales.

Expected to participate in the roundtable forum are leaders in industry, Senate and House of Representatives, national government agencies, and the civil society. ##