MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has welcomed the Duterte administration’s recent decision to ban single-use plastics in the entire country to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change and address the worsening nationwide garbage problem.
De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, has consistently spoken up against the need to globally fight against worsening plastic pollution by pushing for the nationwide ban of single-use plastics which she considers “harmful for the environment and the people.”
“I have consistently pushed for the phase-out of single-use plastics in our country that is why I consider it a welcome development that the administration is finally showing inclination in addressing plastic pollution,” she said.
“Moving forward, I hope that there would be concerted efforts between the government and the Filipino populace in saving our environment and mitigating climate change by eliminating the consumption of single-use plastics nationwide,” she added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo recently said that Mr. Duterte bared the idea of banning the use of plastics in the entire Philippines after the issue on climate change was raised in a Cabinet meeting.
During the meeting, President and CEO of the Natural Resources Development Corporation reportedly “shared with the Cabinet the Priority Programs for Environment and Climate Change Resiliency.”
In a study released by environmental organization Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) last March 7, the group found that Filipinos use more than 163 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million shopping bags and 45 million thin film bags daily.
The organization, composed of more than 800 grassroots groups, networks, non-governmental organizations, has recommended the regulation of single-use plastic products and for companies to redesign products, packaging and delivery systems.
To win the fight against single-use plastics, the lady Senator from Bicol pointed out that business establishments should cooperate with the government in eliminating single-use plastics and making it a part of their corporate social responsibility program.
“As I have said before, aside from thinking of their profit, business establishments should also make it a top priority to save the environment and the people by eliminating single-use plastics in their stores and by phasing out all hard-to-recycle plastics from food and other products,” she said.
“Allow me also to reiterate the need to have a massive information drive to increase public awareness and education on the negative effects of single-use plastics to the environment,” she maintained.
By joining the fight against single-use plastics, De Lima said the people are “helping provide a better world to live in, especially for the future generation.” (PRIB/IAMIGO/CNS)