Mindanao Times

On single use plastic


LAST Tuesday, Councilor Pilar Braga, in a privilege speech, read a letter from Mr. Wenifredo C. Gorrez, a former member of the Konsumo Dabaw, on possible ways to stop the problem on plastic which has become a scourge to the planet. She appealed to the Committee on Environmen­t chaired by the Hon. Diosadado Mahipus Jr. and to the Committee on Education for a possible ordinance regarding the use of plastic. We are printing excerpts of his letter: “A study claimed that there will be more plastics than fishes in our seas by 2050. Landfills all over the world are filled beyond their capacities and some countries had resorted to exporting their trash. “Plastic production which was barely 16.5 trillion MT in 1964 grew to 343 trillion MT in 1999 and is expected to double by 2035. Of all these plastics produced worldwide, barely 10 % are recycled. The rest are buried in landfills around the world or became part of the estimated 169 MT floating somewhere in our oceans. “A recent study in the United Kingdom suggest that almost 50% of all household waste are single waste plastic. “We Dabawenyos are very proud of the awards we keep on getting as one of the cleanest city in our country but we all know that we have a garbage problem. Our landfill in Tugbok is already filled way beyond it’s capacity. Canals keep on being clogged with garbage and our seashores are covered with plastic waste. This is one problem that needs imperative actions now. “There are now 16 countries and cities around the world which had banned single use plastics. This include Canada and New Zealand. New York City will be implementi­ng one soon. Siargao is just following their footsteps. “I propose that Davao City join this new movement and for the City Councilor to pass a city ordinance banning single use plastics. “Meanwhile, I wish to propose two intermedia­te courses of actionto decrease the amount of single use plastics that go to our landfill or end up in our seas. “First is the passing of a City Ordinance requiring all public schools in the city to procure and use only tables, chairs and desks which are made from recycled single use plastics. This will not only diminish the cutting of trees but also open up investment­s and create more jobs. “Second is the holding of regular competitio­n in all schools to use Ecobricks as building blocks of whatever they want to showcase. Ecobricks are plastic soda bottles filled with single use plastics. This activity, outside of perhaps cutting the volume of trash, will jumpstart the awareness and educationa­l campaign leading to the ban of single use plastic in our city. “Our City Council have a very proud tradition of enacting trailblazi­ng local ordinances. The anti–smoking ordinance was thought to be very difficult to implement but now is being imitated in other places of the country. This ordinance banning single use plastic smells and sounds just like it.”

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