Eco group presses stop to plas­tic pol­lu­tion

Manila Times - - NEWS - NEIL A. ALCOBER

AN en­vi­ron­men­tal group has asked the gov­ern­ment, in­dus­try and the cit­i­zenry to help put a stop to the dump­ing of plas­tic wastes into wa­ters that is de­stroy­ing the world’s oceans.

The EcoWaste Coali­tion made the ap­peal in ob­ser­vance of the Na­tional Cleanup Month and the In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup Day on Satur­day.

To pre­vent plas­tics and other dis­cards from spilling from land to trib­u­taries, which can lead to the con­tam­i­na­tion of marine ecosys­tems, the group ad­vo­cat­ing for a zero waste and a toxic- free Philip­pines called for the gen­uine en­force­ment of Re­pub­lic Act 9003, or the Eco­log­i­cal Solid Waste Man­age­ment Act.

The group pressed for the ac­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of RA 9003 as the Manila Bay Coastal Cleanup and Brand Au­dit or­ga­nized by var­i­ous green groups gets un­der­way from Septem­ber 11 to 20 at the Free­dom Is­lands in the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque.

The nine- day cleanup and au­dit was or­ga­nized by the Break Free from Plas­tic Move­ment, EcoWaste Coali­tion, Global Al­liance for In­cin­er­a­tor Al­ter­na­tives, Green­peace, Mother Earth Foun­da­tion, Sama­han ng mga Nananam­bakan sa Dump­site Area, Sama­han ng Mul­ing Pagk­abuhay Multi-Pur­pose Co­op­er­a­tive, and other groups.

“As we help in pick­ing up the garbage along the pol­luted coast­line of Manila Bay, we want to call at­ten­tion to the ur­gent need to en­force RA 9003 in all lo­cal gov­ern­ment units and com­po­nent barangays [vil­lages] to curb global plas- tic pol­lu­tion that is killing the oceans,” Aileen Lucero, the group’s na­tional co­or­di­na­tor, said.

RA 9003, among its long list of pro­hi­bi­tions, for­bids and pe­nal­izes lit­ter­ing, open burn­ing, open dump­ing, the man­u­fac­ture, dis­tri­bu­tion or use of non- en­vi­ron­men­tally ac­cept­able pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als, and the im­por­ta­tion of toxic wastes mis­rep­re­sented as “re­cy­clable.”

“The na­tional and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, busi­nesses and in­dus­tries and all other waste gen­er­a­tors, in­clud­ing the house­holds, must strive for the ‘adop­tion of best en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices in eco­log­i­cal solid waste man­age­ment ex­clud­ing in­cin­er­a­tion’ as re­quired by RA 9003 and as rec­om­mended by the United Na­tions,” Lucero said.

“A na­tional leg­is­la­tion ban­ning sin­gle- use plas­tic bags and main­stream­ing eco- al­ter­na­tives is one of the key en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies that the coun­try needs to adopt,” she added.

Ac­cord­ing to the Metro Manila De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, the me­trop­o­lis pro­duces 9,499 tons of waste per day with per capita gen­er­a­tion es­ti­mated at 0.265 to one kilo/per­son daily.

Metro Manila’s waste is com­prised if biodegrad­able ( 44.32 per­cent), re­cy­clable ( 31.64 per­cent), resid­u­als ( 23.68) and spe­cial ( 0.36 per­cent) wastes. Plas­tics con­sti­tute 17.86 per­cent of waste gen­er­ated in Metro Manila based on MMDA’s Waste Anal­y­sis and Char­ac­ter­i­za­tion Study.

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