By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Cynthia Villar welcomed on Friday the Duterte administration’s reported plan to ban single-use plastics in the country.
“With the President taking the lead in this campaign, I am confident we will be making a significant headway and finally remove us from that disconcerting title as one of the world’s largest producers of plastic wastes,” Villar said during a tree-planting and clean-up activity she led in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Baseco Compound, Manila.
Villar, chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said it was high time to implement a ban on plastics in the Philippines especially after the country was found to be one of the world’s largest producers of plastic wastes that end up in the ocean.
She said that plastic pollution poses a “grave threat” to the country’s food security and agriculture sector.
“Disaster risks and hazards arising from plastic pollution may put farms at risk of flooding resulting in wastage of agricultural products along with its threats to a balanced ecology. Micro plastics leaked in our bodies of water may also put public health at risk as it gets into our food chain,” Villar added.
Saying she could not blame people for patronizing products that were made affordable in plastic sachets, Villar said the government should put pressure instead on corporations to come up with a program to recycle their plastic wastes and minimize its impact to the environment.
Villar had filed Senate Bill No. 333 which seeks to regulate the manufacturing, importation, and use of single-use plastic products.
Under the bill, the issuance of the single-use plastics by food establishments, stores, markets, and retailers will also be prohibited.
Manufacturers will be mandated to collect, recycle and dispose of single-use plastics they have manufactured and/or circulated in the general market.
Importation of single-use plastics will likewise no longer be allowed.