The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) celebrates the month of June as the Philippine Environment Month with a renewed commitment to fight plastic pollution and build a circular plastics economy.
To kick off the month- long celebration, the DENR will lead the local observance of the World Environment Day on June 5 with the theme, “ No To Waste: Advancing Circular Economy to #BeatPlasticPollution.”
According to the United Nations, over 400 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide every year, one third of which is used just once. It also said that every day, the equivalent of over 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into the world’ s oceans, rivers and lakes.
The DENR under the leadership of Secretary Antonia Loyzaga is aiming to end plastic pollution in the country through a circular economy where all plastic applications are reused, recycled, and responsibly managed during and after use while enabling a lower greenhouse gas emissions plastic economy.
In January this year, Loyzaga signed the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 11898, or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022.
The EPR law aims to address the mismanagement of plastic waste and uphold circularity through maximizing the material value of plastics as it serves as the environmental policy approach and practice that requires producers to be environmentally responsible throughout the life cycle of a product, especially its post
- consumer or end- of- life stage.
The local celebration of the World Environment Day will commence with a tree- planting activity led by Secretary Loyzaga and other senior DENR officials at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
This will be followed by a forum on new ways by which the DENR can work together with different stakeholders. The forum will be held at the DENR Central Office, also in Quezon City. The agency’ s strategic partners from the private sector will share the best practices on plastic waste management during the forum to be attended by youth leaders, women organizations, and national and local government representatives.
Also on June 5, the DENR- Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) will hold the Luntiang Puso- Women in Action for Environment Awarding Ceremony, which seeks to recognize women’ s organizations and their significant contributions in the planning, implementation and monitoring of environmental management projects of EMB.
Meanwhile, the DENR - in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme Philippines and the Climate Change Commission - will launch a nationwide campaign entitled "LOOPFORWARD: Linking Opportunities and Partnerships Towards Circular Economy through EPR”  on June 19 to support the implementation of the EPR law.
The event aims to convene the national government, private sector, and other development partners to inform stakeholders on their role and gather support in the EPR Act implementation.
On June 7, three memoranda of agreement will be separately forged by DENR with the Office of the Vice President for its PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees program, with Energy Development Corporation on nature- based solutions, and with Green Convergence on greenhouse gas accounting.
To spread awareness on marine litter, its impacts on communities and wildlife, and empower young people to take action on its prevention as individuals, in their households and in their communities, the DENR and UN- Habitat Philippines will hold on June 21- 23 the first- ever Marine Litter Learning Activity.
The activity will be participated in by representatives from youth- led organizations on environment and officers of Youth for Environment in Schools Organization or YES- O.
Loyzaga recognizes the important role that the youth play in protecting the environment and in fighting the effects of climate change as well as underscores the importance of joining forces with the youth, listening to their ideas, and engaging them on environmental conservation and protection.
As a culminating activity for the Environment Month, the EMB will launch on June 30 the Luntiang Puso- Outstanding Community Livelihood Projects Through Local Waste Recovery, which aims to recognize livelihood programs initiated by communities in their efforts to reduce and recover wastes.
By virtue of Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1988 by then President Corazon Aquino, the month of June was declared Philippine Environment Month to raise environmental consciousness among Filipinos. #