Plastics sector prefers regulation over ban


MANILA, Philippines—The plastics industry sees some negative impact from local governments’ moves to regulate the use of plastic, such as in the case of Quezon City, but the recycling industry may benefit from the same, an industry leader said in a phone interview.

Crispian Lao, spokesperson for the Philippine Plastics Industry Association, said that the plastic bags subsector is just one part of the plastics industry in the Philippines. The subsector employs 175,000 people out of the 650,000 workers living off the total industry.

“The good thing about regulation like in Quezon City, which regulated the thickness and such, is that it may bring opportunities for the recycling sector even if there would be a negative effect on the plastic bag subsector. It’s better than an outright ban,” said Lao.

“(Quezon City), at least, still allows the public to get a plastic bag for a minimal fee (P2 per bag regardless of size) or something else like paper.”

Quezon City’s restriction on the use of plastic bags starts September 1.

If, for instance, a consumer is buying a kilo of rice, the buyer will not be forced to use paper because there is an option to buy a plastic bag, which may be more convenient in such a case, he said. Consumers can also bring old plastic bags to retail outlets to exchange for newer, thicker plastic bags.

Quezon City is also pushing for recycling, which is key to waste management, said Lao, adding this is the more scientific and enlightened approach as done elsewhere in the world because plastic is completely recyclable.

“The plastics ban is ill advised and offers no benefit to the people. It is just politically appealing. It is also bad actually for the environment because it results in more paper use which requires the cutting of trees, and the use of more water and power for production,” he said.

Lao said people have been made to believe that plastic is to blame for floods.

“Many areas in Muntinglupa and other areas are still flooded up to now despite their plastic ban. The real reason is our refusal to responsibly dispose of our trash, aside from our old sewers, lost manholes and a broken garbage collection and disposal system,” he said.

If these are the real reasons, he said the solution is not a plastic ban but the enforcement of waste segregation.

“Even if we ban plastic throughout the Philippines, we will still have floods and we will still have a lot of trash because we refuse to see the obvious solution which unfortunately means each of us must work and do our share. The ban is our escape but it will not work,” he said.

In part, the Quezon City regulation calls for thicker plastic bags. It also encourages people to exchange their old plastic bags for a new one. If none is offered for replacement, a P2 charge will be imposed.

Discounts will also be encouraged to be given to buyers who bring their own bags, whether plastic or not.

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  • Arvin Acosta

    Just produce re-usable plastics then you can double your profits. Be creative, we need change.

  • gudwil2all

    alam naman ng lahat ang plastic bag ay babara ng ano man daluyan
    pero karamihan irresponsible pa rin sa pag dispose nito
    yan ang pilipino, bobo sa sariling bayan

  • pepengkabayo

    Dapat iBan na rin si Dr.Vicki Belo.
    Dumami ang mga mukhang plastic, lalo na sa mga artista.

  • alfred sanchez

    dito sa amin sa muntinlupa lubog pa din sa baha mabuti pa ang mga squatter natulungan ni kap at ni mayor pero kahit isang kahoy na bridge ay wala silang napagawa, sa mga taga putatan 3 months pa tayo mag titiis sa baha, dapat hindi plastic ang iban dito kundi mga squatter buong aplya ginawa na nilang bahay

    • Jason_Voorhees

      Sa susunod huwag na ninyong iboto ang kapitan at mayor ninyo.

      • alfred sanchez

        sa dami ng squatter sa aplaya hindi kaya talunin ng isa kong boto sila, kung taga muntlupa ka daan ka sa aplya para makita mo sinasabi ko

      • Jason_Voorhees

        Naiintindihan kita sa sitwasyon mo dahil nararanasan ko din yan. Basta wag mo na lang iboto ang mga ganyan klase ng pulitiko. Kahit papaano me nagawa ka sa isang boto mo. Ginagamit lang kasi ng mga pulitiko ang mga INUTIL na mamamayan na nakatira sa squatter.

  • TrentonWoods

    Recycling will not work.  Plastic bag manufacturer should be the one shouldering the cost of the recent enormous garbage during the recent flooding in Manila. Throw-away plastic bag is also responsible for the biggest trash in the Pacific twice the size of Texas known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch….search it in Google.  They are making tons of money on plastic even boasting of employing many people yet the enormous cost to the environment is so huge i doubt all their money combined is enough to repair the damage being done and continually being done.

  • padrefaura

    hindi naman mga plastic ang problema…. yung mga taong walang disiplina. 

    • Jason_Voorhees

      Tama po kayo! Pero problema din ang plastic kahit maayos ang pag tapon nito dahil hindi naman ito nalulusaw at mananatili sa kalikasan. Posible naman na masira ang kalikasan natin saan man ito nakalagay o itinapon. Wala talagang magandang maidudulot ang ang plastic.

      • padrefaura

        pumunta ka sa mga developed cities like NY, HK and Beijing. walang ban of plastic sa mga lugar na yan, pero hindi sila binabaha dahil maayos ang disiplina ng mga tao sa pagamit ng plastic. 

      • Jason_Voorhees

        Ikaw na din ang nagsabi na ang taong walang disiplina ang talagang problema dito e sa pilipinas maraming walang disiplina. At dahil diyan pabor ako sa ban ng plastic. Matagal nang tinuturuan ng tamang disiplina ang mga tao pero hindi natuto. Pag dinisiplina mo naman by means of law patago din nagkakalat at binabalewala ang batas. Disiplinahin mo muna ang mga pinoy at sasang ayon ako sa paggamit ng plastic. Sa amerika po promote nila dun ang paper bag dahil alam nila hindi maganda ang pag gamit ng plastic. Ang china po me isang lugar na nakasama sa most polluted na place at di malayong makasama na tayo dun.

  • ed0408

    There is no sense in Mr. Lao’s explanation. Even if plastic recycling will benefit 2 million people and it will affect the rest of the 98 million population, the use of plastic bags is not logical. Ban the use of plastic bags and help solve 50% plus problem on flooding. 

  • Jojo

    Bakit nagpatupad ng Ban sa Plastic ngayon kung kailan merong pinoy inventor na nakadiskubre ng Plastic to Fuel. Bakit di suportahan ng Government iyon, na wag itapon ang mga plastic bag at i-recycle ito bilang fuel, mas mura pa ang benta at makakatulong sa maraming motorista.

  • boybakal

    Don’t Ban the Plastic Bag….Ban the people throwing Plastic Bag.
    Simple solution…..put a trash can or bin for plastic or plastic bags.
    In this way, people will have a bin to throw the plastic.
    Or buy back the plastic.
    It is more of education and discipline than banning.

  • Nic Legaspi

    I am all for the regulation of plastic bags. While it is true that plastic bags are still needed for shopping, most establishments are going on overkill! ALL items, regardless of kind or size, are being put in plastic bags. This does not make sense as some items could be easily carried or put into paper bags instead. This should also be a wake up call to all Pinoys to instead settle for paper bags or none when it is applicable. Sa 7-11 or sa Ministop, bibili lang ako ng isang boteng mineral water, ilalagay pa sa plastik! Sus, sayang lang! By default, all items should not be bagged. We should charge the buyer of the items for plastic bags instead, as has been the practice in places like HK, etc.

  • 我恨中国人

    I am aligned to chemistry as a profession and I attest to the financial loss these plastic industries will incur if there is widespread ban on plastics. Ang kapal naman ng mukha nila na i sacrifice ang kapakanan ng environment and our country for their greed. Magdusa sila. 

  • Ben

    Banning is out of frustration of the plastic industry`s inability to find ways of innovating their products, regulation is good if the plastic industry are into research and development. Why don`t they research a shopping plastic bags that has a life span of say 2 weeks before degradation for example? or plastic equipments should be segregated when putting in garbage and must be recycled..or develop into a diesel substance as a previous Filipino inventor discovered.. if the central government has the will then research and development will solve the plastic industry`s problem….and save our environment in return. 

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