CEMEX welcomes passage of EPR Law in the Philippines

CEMEX, one of the world’s leading building materials companies, welcomes the passage of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Law in the Philippines.

The Philippines is one of the largest contributors of mismanaged plastics that end up in either landfills or waterways. In the recent onslaught of super typhoon Karding in Luzon, debris of plastic wastes were found in the beach area of Manila Bay which were jointly cleaned up by volunteers and government workers. Through the years, the government has been implementing strategies to address the challenges of plastic waste management such as the implementation of Republic Act No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which is an integrated solid waste management approach based on the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle).

Quite recently, the government took another step in addressing the country’s plastic waste problem by passing Republic Act No. 11898, or the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Act. The said law requires large companies to recover the plastic packaging waste they are producing, meaning; these enterprises are mandated to be environmentally responsible throughout the life cycle of their products, especially at their post-consumer or end-of-life stage. Covered companies or enterprises should recover wastes they produced through (1) buy-back (2) collection for reuse/recycling (3) clean-up of wastes (4) establishment of recycling, composting, thermal treatment, and other waste diversion or disposal facilities.

Beginning 31 December 2023, covered companies are required to recover at least 20% of their plastic footprint in 2022. The rate of recovery increases every year until it reaches 80% recovery rate on 31 December 2028 and every year thereafter. The failure to implement recovery measures will be penalized through fines ranging from P5 million to P20 million.

“CEMEX sees this landmark legislation as a positive way forward in addressing the country’s waste problems. Even prior to the passage of the EPR law, CEMEX Philippines through our Solid Cement plant in  Antipolo, Rizal and APO Cement plant in Naga, Cebu, have already been supporting several companies in their plastic neutrality and waste diversion programs through co-processing,” said Luis Franco, CEMEX Philippines President and CEO. 

Co-processing is a solution that converts residual wastes such as plastics into alternative fuels for cement kilns that forms part of the process in making cement. With co-processing, this avoids methane emissions in landfills since non-recyclable wastes are redirected instead to cement kilns. Methane has a global warming potential of 80x higher than CO2 in the first 20 years of release. Co-processing is a sustainable solution and supports circular economy making it a perfect solution for EPR compliance not just at 20% recovery rate but even as high as 100% recovery thereby achieving the plastic neutrality goal of covered companies in the EPR law.  This makes the Philippines at par with countries like Australia, Japan, and some countries in Europe which have similar legislation that addresses plastic consumption.

“We take earnest steps in supporting the government and in making sure we are drivers of the circular economy. Our co-processing technology allows the increased use of wastes as alternative fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions,”  Franco added.

CEMEX Philippines is recognized as a reliable partner of various local governments in solid waste management since non-recyclable and non-reusable wastes are sent to its cement facilities for co-processing,  thereby reducing the amount of waste that are brought to landfills, or worse, thrown to waterways. A total of 25 local governments are already co-processing their residual wastes to CEMEX, and another 23 are already in the pipeline as more and more local governments are seeing the benefits of co-processing and how it helps them regulate and manage waste in their respective cities or municipalities.  

With the passage of the EPR law, this creates an opportunity for Public-Private Partnership in waste management. CEMEX supports collaborative schemes to partner with government in the management and diversion of residual wastes,  and allow the private sector to contribute directly to waste management.

CEMEX is a global construction materials company that is building a better future through sustainable products and solutions. CEMEX is committed to achieving carbon neutrality through relentless innovation and industry-leading research and development. CEMEX is at the forefront of the circular economy in the construction value chain, and is pioneering ways to increase the use of waste and residues as alternative raw materials and fuels in its operations with the use of new technologies. CEMEX offers cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and urbanization solutions in growing markets around the world, powered by a multinational workforce focused on providing a superior customer experience, enabled by digital technologies. For more information please visit: www.cemexholdingsphilippines.com