Plastic reduction now
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The Laguna-based ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity reported that member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations continue to move towards the reduction of plastic waste to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the region.
“The Centre joins the movement against the use of plastics, supports the member states’ initiatives in banning plastic use, and strictly implementing waste management laws and policies,” ACB executive director Theresa Mundita Lim said.
Just this month, our Department of Environment and Natural Resources urged the public to avoid using disposable plastic products that clog waterways, cause ocean pollution and poison marine species.
Brunei targets to stop the use of plastic bags in supermarkets by 2019 while Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia implement bans and taxes on the use of plastic bags. Cambodia and Laos encourage the public to use recyclable bags being sold in downtown cafes and markets.
Singapore will ban plastics for dine-in customers this year while Thailand continues to campaign on promoting the importance of reducing the number of plastic bags to lessen harmful effects on the environment. Large businesses and enterprises in Vietnam also introduced eco-friendly bags for shoppers, and its government imposes environment tax on plastic bags.
ACB estimates that the world produces around five trillion plastic bags every year, or about 700 bags per person. “These bags which are usually utilized in just a few minutes or hours, take centuries to decompose. Before decomposing, these wastes pile up in our lands and are easily washed up into our streams, and rivers until they reach the oceans; polluting our waters, destroying aquatic habitats, and eventually killing marine species,” Lim added.
As ASEAN and the world move toward plastic reduction, Filipinos need to be proactive and stop waiting for legislation and strict enforcement before making the necessary lifestyle adjustments to reduce the amount of plastic we use that eventually affects our environment. The people of the country that is among the top 3 plastic polluters in the planet need to take responsibility for our actions and make greater contributions as the world struggles to rid itself of plastic.*