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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) urged cement makers to explore ways to utilize plastic waste as raw material to help reduce the country's solid waste generation by at least 40 percent.
“When all these cement plants will participate, we can dramatically reduce the volume of plastic waste which will be now regarded as raw materials of the cement plants in their current processing,” said DENR-EMB Director William Cuñado, citing that several cement firms have already adopted the conversion of plastic waste into energy in the country.
“This measure will reduce by 40 to 60 percent the volume of plastic waste,” he pointed out.
The DENR-EMB chief also said that the participation of the local government units through their solid waste management efforts will contribute to the decrease in plastic waste volume.
Cuñado noted that the conversion of plastic waste into raw material for cement plants will result in the reduction of plastic wastes generated in cities and municipalities.
DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Panning, and International Affairs and spokesperson Atty. Jonas R. Leones also cited that campaign materials made out of plastics that are used for the May 2022 elections can be recycled by cement plants.
“Plastic tarpaulins are also used in co-processing, in energy. These are mixed into cement as fillers; sometimes these are used to create pots,” Leones said.
“Plastic tarpaulins are melted to have some other products out of these plastics,” he added.
Leones also reiterated the continuing efforts of the DENR in addressing the problem of single-use plastics.
“The DENR has already approved the national plan of action to address the plastic litter and in addressing single-use plastics. We are supporting the principle of circular economy and extended producer responsibility or EPR,” Leones said.
“For us, we are just preparing the policy that would hopefully give incentives to the industries for them to avoid using single-use plastics," he added. ###