COCA-COLA Co. said that the proposed excise tax on single-use plastics should cover a broader spectrum of packaging.
Kirsten van Zandwijk, sustainability and partnerships director for ASEAN & South Pacific of Coca-Cola, said the success of the excise tax will depend on how it is designed.
“I do think that it is important that it is well designed. The broader it is, the better because you want to preferably have all different packaging types being included,” Ms. Van Zandwijk said.
She said that broadening the coverage of the tax will make it have a long-term and sustainable impact.
“If you discriminate against one packaging type and we use another one that’s maybe cheaper or not taxed or not part of the Extended Producers Responsibility Law, you’re not actually moving into the right direction,” she said.
“In general, if we work with industry and with governments, we always say let’s make it as broad as possible so you can create a full impact across all the different industries and packaging types,” she added.
Asked for her policy recommendations for the Philippine government, she said a campaign to reduce and reuse plastics will be critical.
“It’s my first time in the Philippines, and I’ve been talking to some customers here for example, and they all say the biggest challenge we have is information and education,” she said.
She added that although every individual can reuse and reduce, there remains an opportunity for governments to step up.
“I think that is (already) happening, but it’s about being consistent and making sure that you reach everyone. We see that the next generation is really willing to step up and do something against climate change. So, I think we have huge potential with the generation to come,” she added.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. sought the support of Congress for the passage of tax measures, including the tax on single-use plastics, during his second State of the Nation Address.
House Bill 4102 or the proposed Single-Use Plastic Bags Tax Act, which seeks to impose an excise tax of P100 per kilogram on single-use plastic bags, had been approved by the House in November.
However, the Senate version of the bill remains pending at committee level. — Justine Irish D. Tabile