February 23, 2021

Gov’t To Ban Stirrers, Straws Nationwide

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  • Companies in the plastic industry have one year to prepare to remove plastic coffee stirrers and soft drink straws that are soon-to-be-banned as categorized to be non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAPs).

    According to Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda and the alternate chairperson of National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC)  said that the grace period will give leeway to all the companies to adjust properly. The one-year countdown will begin after the official resolution has been published nationwide.

    “There’ll be a phase-out period so their industry won’t be that affected,” he said.

    The NSWMC explained that these two products are long-overdue list, and it’s about time to implement the banned.

    Straws/IMAGE from freeimages.com 

    REPUBLIC ACT 9003

    The basis of resolution is according to  Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) ordered NSWMC to prepare, within one year from the effectivity of this law and in consultation with stakeholders concerned, a list of NEAPs that the government will ban.

    Under RA 9003’s implementing rules and regulations, NEAPs are “products or packaging that are unsafe in production, use, post-consumer use, or that produce or release harmful products”.

    Plastic coffee stirrers and soft drink straws made it to the NEAP list as Antiporda said studies showed these are not environment-friendly. In fact, these can have an alternative that is way safer and cost cheaper.

    “Those are also the first products that we saw have alternatives,” he said. “We can live without plastic coffee stirrers and soft drink straws since these are not necessities.”

    To keep everything on track, NSWMC will do an annual review and update the list.

    RA 9003 prohibits banning NEAPs unless the NSWMC finds alternatives available to the public at costs that are not more than 10 percent higher than the corresponding prices of items these will replace.

    The law also said that “notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary,” its section on NEAPs “shall not apply to Packaging used at hospitals, nursing homes or other medical facilities; and Any packaging which is not environmentally acceptable, but for which there is no commercially available alternative as determined by the Commission”.


    Sources: Philippine News Agency, Department of Environment and Natural Resources 

    Written by Cedie Salido

               
               
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