The Philippine Plastics Industry Association Inc. (PPIA) fears that a proposal imposing an excise tax on single-use plastic bags could lead to the death of the local industry.
During the hearing of the House Committee on Ways and Means, PPIA president Willy Go said imposing a P10 per kilo levy on singPle-use plastic bags was “very detrimental to low-income earners” noting that members of the plastic industry are currently suffering the negative impact of local bans on plastic usage.
Go said the government could still find alternative ways to save the environment without slapping additional taxes on plastic.
“We should instead strengthen the information, education and communication campaigns on the use of plastic bag,” he said.
“But plastics have satisfied all requirements. It is reusable-recyclable, non-toxic and biodegradable. Plastic has become a punching bag,” he added.
Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, author of House Bill 178, said her proposal seeks to impose excise tax on plastic bags used insupermarkets, malls, shops, stores, sales outlets and similar establishments.
“It is a known fact that plastic bags contaminate soil and waterways. Based on available data, 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags are utilized worldwide each year, and billions of these end up as litter,” she said.
“These are, likewise, toxic to both humans and animals, especially, when accidentally ingested. Plastic marine debris have been documented to harm at least 267 species, among which are sea turtles and dolphins,” Suansing added.
The bill proposes an excise tax of P10 per kilo to be charged at the point of sale of goods or products for every plastic bag provided by the supermarket, malls, shops, stores, sales outlets and other similar establishments.
Under the bill, 50 percent of the revenues from the excise tax on single-use plastic bags shall be allocated to the solid waste management fund provided under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. (PNA)