Ocean conservation group pushes ban on single-use plastics
MANILA, Philippines — An international ocean conservation group has appealed for the speedy passage of a national policy against single-use plastic that, it said, pollutes the ocean and chokes marine life.
Oceana president Jim Simon on Tuesday said that the organization would push for legislation that addresses plastic pollution in the 12 countries where their offices are located.
But Simon singled out the Philippines which, he said, has been tagged as among the top contributors of ocean plastic in the world.
“Plastic is extremely destructive in the ocean. [It] does not go away unlike almost anything in the world,” he told reporters in a press briefing in Quezon City. “It is basically killing large parts of marine life and will not go away.”
Solid waste management
Simon said the policy against single-use plastic is “nowhere as important” as in the Philippines, where a great majority of people rely on marine resources for both food and livelihood.
“As a nation of islands, it’s so easy for the plastic to run off the sea, with so many places in the country that don’t have the resources for adequate solid waste management,” he said.
Oceana Philippines had earlier called President Rodrigo Duterte to order the National Solid Waste Management Commission to include single-use plastic in the list of the nonenvironmentally acceptable products and packaging.
A 2016 study by World Economic Forum revealed that at least 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year, equivalent to the contents of one garbage truck every minute.
As the 18th Congress opened earlier last month, Oceana Philippines vice president Gloria Estenzo Ramos said they expected the President to certify as urgent the bills that would ban the use of single-used plastic.
Several bills had been filed in Congress imposing a ban on single-use plastics.
Last month, Sen. Francis Pangilinan filed Senate Bill No. 40, which seeks to ban the importation, manufacture and use of such items. Antique Rep. Loren Legarda filed a similar bill in November last year.
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