Mindanao Times

Davao City to ban single-use plastics

- (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – The City Government of Davao will soon ban the use of the single-use plastics (SUPs) here once the measure regulating the SUPs passed in the local council, Interface Developmen­t Interventi­ons (IDIS) executive director Chinkie P. Golle said.

She said on Wednesday that the proposed measure, which had passed three hearings in the Committee on Environmen­t chaired by 2nd District Councilor Diosdado Mahipus, would ban specific SUPs defined as “disposable plastics,” “designed or placed on the market to be used once over a short time span before being disposed or discarded.”

The proposed ordinance specifical­ly identified SUPs as plastic drinking cups; plastic condiment, sauce or gravy container, both recyclable and non-recyclable; plastic cup lids or covers; plastic stirrers; plastic cutlery (spoon, knife, or fork); plastic straws; plastic meal packaging; plastic hand gloves; plastic materials used as “buntings”; and plastic materials used as balloon sticks.

No exemption between recyclable and non-recyclable materials was set.

Golle said the IDIS originally proposed total ban on SUPs but she was told it would not be possible since it would affect some sectors engaged in or related to plastic business.

Golle added her group would continue to lobby for the total ban on SUPs.

In its position paper, IDIS said that the rapid developmen­t in the city has led to “indiscrimi­nate production and use of plastic products,” resulting in “staggering increase in plastic waste generation and environmen­tal pollution.”

It also cited the impact the SUPs would cause to the environmen­t because plastics are non-biodegrada­ble, staying in the environmen­t for thousands of years, and would produce toxic chemicals that are harmful to human health when incinerate­d, causing cardiovasc­ular disease to cancer and autoimmune conditions.

“Although they may slowly breakdown into microplast­ics, they will not decompose and instead find their way to water bodies and be eaten by marine animals. While some plastics are less noticeable such as oxo-degradable­s designed to degrade quickly, they are still present in the environmen­t and continue to accumulate through time affecting the health of every organism ingesting their debris or by products,” it said.

The environmen­tal groups said there are several existing and available alternativ­es to plastics such as “reusable bottles for drinking, reusable bamboo/metal straws and food utensils, bayong and ecobags for groceries, biodegrada­ble packaging such as brown paper or banana leaves for dry goods and with reusable containers for wet goods.”

The city produces an average of 570 to 600 metric tons of waste daily, according to IDIS.

The ban on SUPs would help lessen the production of wastes that end up on the seven-hectare sanitary landfill located in New Carmen, Tugbok, which has nearly reached its maximum capacity, Golle said.

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