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Process Engineered Fuel: Fuel product or plastic waste export in disguise?
National Report on PEF Importation and Use in the Philippines
In the Philippines, there is no time to waste when it comes to the waste crisis. Solid waste management and its related problems is perhaps the most pressing environmental issue in the country today. Rising populations and high poverty rates coupled with increasing urbanization continues to put a strain on waste management systems and infrastructure. The Philippines’ archipelagic geographic structure, a rising population, lack of incentives for reform, and weak implementation and enforcement of regulations result in almost 35% of plastic wastes leaking into the open environment.
Both statistics and projections support the rising crisis situation. The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) points to a rising trend in solid waste generation: “The yearly amount of waste in the country was expected to increase from 13.48 million tons in 2010, to 14.66 million tons in 2014, to 18.05 million tons in 2020”. The DENR-EMB estimates that in 2020, waste generated was 21.4 million tonnes – and this is expected to increase to 23.6 million tonnes by 2025. The most recent national Waste Analysis and Characterization Study found that 56.7 percent of municipal solid waste was generated by residential sources. A further 27.1 percent was coming from commercial establishments, with institutional facilities and the industrial or manufacturing sector contributing the remaining 12.1 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.
Poor waste management infrastructure has also contributed to the ballooning of this problem. Recent reports by the DENR show that there are only 237 sanitary landfills nationwide to service the 1,634 cities and municipalities in the country (with 11 under construction); and only 11,625 materials recovery facilities (MRFs) to cater to over 42,000 barangays (villages). Although it was recently reported that all of the 335 illegal open dumpsites have been closed, many argue that its implementation 20 years after the mandate of the law is too late and unacceptable.