Environmental groups urge Duterte to order ban on single-use plastics
MANILA, Philippines — Several environmental groups on Wednesday challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately ban the use of single-use plastics through the release of the list of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging (NEAPP).
This was indicated in the groups’ letter to the Office of the President on Wednesday, requesting Duterte to order the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) to immediately release the NEAPP and include single-use plastics in the said list.
“This mandate is two decade long overdue and the Commission only listed plastic soft drink straw and stirrer in February,” said EcoWaste Coalition Rep. Coleen Salamat.
“The plastic pollution crisis should be addressed as urgently as COVID-19 reponse. The longer we don’t ban single-use plastics, the worse it will get,” she added.
The groups requested the following to be included in the NEAPP list:
- plastic labo bags
- plastic bags including oxo-degradable plastics
- plastic cutleries: spoon, fork, and knives
- plastic straws
- plastic stirrers
- plastic bottles
- plastic cups and plates
- thin plastic take-out containers
- styrofoam or polystyrene food containers
- sachet, packaging, or products that are multilayered with other materials
The groups then reiterated that not only is plastic a waste management issue, it is also a climate and health concern that continues to worsen due to the pandemic.
According to the groups, 95 local government units have already issued resolutions urging the NSWMC to release the NEAPP list and include single-use plastics.
“Our oceans are already drowning in plastics. Our existing environmental laws are powerful, it is powerful enough to end the plastic crisis. Still, the implementation falls short,” said Oceana Vice President and lawyer Gloria Ramos.
“The Commission is composed of 14 national government agencies [and] RA 9003 was passed twenty one years ago but to date, not much has been done to address the perils of plastic pollution.” she added.
The said groups noted that in 2019, the Palace had already warmed up to the proposal on banning plastic use.
“We respectfully note that in 2019 during a Cabinet meeting on climate change, a pronouncement was made that the administration will push for a ban on single-use plastics,” said Salamat.
“We are reaching out to the Office of the President as his term comes to an end. To truly address the plastic and climate crisis, we have to stop it at source. We sincerely hope that the administration will follow through on this promise.” she added.
The letter was signed by several environmental groups including the EcoWaste Coalition, Break Free from Plastic, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace Philippines, Health Care Without Harm South East Asia, Mother Earth Foundation, and Oceana Philippines on Wednesday sent a letter to the Office of the President requesting for the immediate release of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging (NEAPP) list and inclusion of single-use plastics.
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