A total of 57,954 individuals have already signed a petition urging the Philippine Congress to pass a measure to regulate and ban single-use plastic packaging and products in the country.
“The petition mirrors that our citizens already clamor for the passage of comprehensive law banning single-use plastics,” said Coleen Salamat, plastic solutions campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.
The pro-environment advocacy group called on the Senate on Tuesday, August 10, to pass a measure that will mandate clear timelines on the “phaseout of production, distribution and sale of problematic plastic products.”
The group also called for incentives to “eco-friendly alternatives and systems.”
“We need a law that is serious about tackling plastic pollution here in the country and needs to address it from the very first stage where problems manifest and that’s at extraction and production,” said Marian Ledesma, zero waste campaigner of Greenpeace.
She said “plastic creates problems for our climate, our environment and health throughout its different stages.”
“A genuine solution to the plastic crisis should start upstream,” said Ledesma.
The House of Representatives has passed on July 28 a bill that aims to ban single-use plastics, but Ledesma said it favors plastic producers.
She said there are many provisions that allow for them to circumvent bans by doing “end-of-life approaches like waste management, recovery.”
“It doesn’t really address the main issue here where they still are responsible also for impacts of their products and goods from the very beginning,” said Ledesma.
Ledesma noted how inputs from pro-environment groups were practically ignored by legislators.
The activist appealed to the Senate to craft a “more stringent bill” to counter the “problematic” House bill.
Environmental activists maintain that once plastic is produced, it stays forever, and single-use plastics are the “worst kind” because it accelerates the volume of waste in the environment.
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