Single use no more
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Citing the 2015 Ocean Conservancy report indicating more than half of the eight million metric tons of plastic waste dumped into the oceans every year comes from China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines; Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Juan Miguel Zubiri are pushing for a reduction in the use of plastic in the country.
“Our economy’s strong performance has increased production and consumption. Unfortunately, it also increased the plastic waste we generate in the course of our daily activities. It’s time we consider how we can use plastic in a less destructive way,” Pimentel said.
He added that, if left unchecked, there would be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050, citing official projections.
Among the measures he is supporting are the elimination of single-use plastic bags in the country and that of making all disposable plastic bags biodegradable. He is also considering filing a bill that would limit the use of plastic in industry and trade.
“I understand the convenience and economics of plastic use. However, we should never let short-term benefits doom us in the long term,” Pimentel said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said he believes it is time to enact a law to ban single-use plastic in the country.
The ubiquity of single-use plastics in daily Filipino living makes it a difficult habit to break. Raising awareness of the negative impact of this habit in future generations may prompt some lifestyle changes but, at the rate of the country in going,nationwide effort is needed to reverse the damage today’s way of living has wrought upon oceans. Legislation and strict enforcement will be necessary so our legislators must act with urgency so the Filipino people can start help saving our oceans from plastic as soon as possible.*