Plastic Ban 101 We never know the worth of water till the well is dry (Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732). There are garbage everywhere. Water forms are polluted and underwater beauties are damaged due to different activities of humans. Do we still have to wait for the worst to come before we make a move to conserve and protect our environment? The earth where we are living is now at risk. This statement is supported by the survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) during the first quarter of 2012.
They found that 66% of Filipino adults say the rising world temperature is dangerous (consisting of 37% extremely dangerous and 29% very dangerous) for the environment. Twenty-seven percent say it is somewhat dangerous, and 7% not dangerous/not dangerous at all. Though many Filipinos know that our environment is in great danger, another survey that questions ,”How often do you make a special effort to sort glass or tins or plastic or newspapers and so on for recycling (ALWAYS, OFTEN, SOMETIMES, NEVER, or RECYCLING NOT AVAILABLE WHERE I LIVE)?
The result is: 31% of Filipino adults say always, 24% often, 31% sometimes, and 9% never. The remaining 5% claim that recycling is not available in the place where they live. One solution is available; banning plastic bags in the country. The House of Representatives approved HB 4840 or the Plastic Regulation Act of 2011. This act would require the phase out of non-biodegradable plastic bags within three years and the placement of a plastic bag recovery bin at each store or cluster of stores.
However, SB 2759 or the Total Plastic Bag Ban Act of 2011 is still pending in the Senate. Is this really the solution to the issue in our environment? Banning of plastics will surely be a great help, but there will always be two sides of a story, how about the consequences of the act? First, a great number of Filipinos are working in plastic-manufacturing companies, they’ll be jobless once the bill is passed.
If this companies will be closed, it also has a great impact in the Philippine economy, resulting to numerous protests from different business groups. “The business groups, including the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Philippine Industry and Philippine Exporters Confederation, put out a full-page advertisement in major newspapers yesterday to denounce the plastic ban.
The other business groups are the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, Samahan ng Pilipinas sa Industriang Kemiko, Association of Petrochemical Manufacturers of the Philippines, Packaging Institute of the Philippines, Polystyrene Packaging Council of the Philippines, Philippine Plastics Industry Association, Metro Plastics Recycling Industries, Philippine Association of Supermarkets and Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association. The plastic ban does not protect the environment at all. It leads to more paper use, which means more trees cut and higher water and power use. The environment is worse off,” the ad stated. ” (Desiderio, Louella D. “14 business groups oppose ban on plastic bags” The Philippine Star 1 Sept. 2012) These factors are the reasons why the SB 2759 or the Total Plastic Bag Ban Act of 2011 is still on the way in being a law.
On the other hand, if the bill will be passed, it will be a great help in protecting the environment. One solid evidence is the town of Los Banos in Laguna. According to the former mayor Caesar Perez, the solid waste management program drastically curbed the garbage problem in the municipality. “Los Banos has successfully reduced its waste by 75 percent. ” However, discipline remains the core ingredient of the program, Perez noted. Without it, he said, no initiative would have succeeded. Ang tao naghahanap ng pagbabago. Pero ang hindi nila alam, ang pagbabago magsisimula sa bawat isang mamamayan,” he added. (LAMENTILLO ANNA MAE YU “Ban on plastic bags slowly gaining momentum” August 28, 2012 from http://www. gmanetwork. com/news/story/271569/news/nation/ban-on-plastic-bags-slowly-gaining-momentum) Our ancestors lived without using plastic bags, there are many alternatives like bayong, reusable bags, net bags, etc.
Plastics also are dangerous, even those “degradable plastic bags” that may degrade in two to five years but this issue remains unclear. “Degradable plastic bags merely perpetuate ‘throw-away’ and ‘dispose-as-usual’ mentality as it gives the wrong impression that discarding them the habitual way is okay since they degrade anyway,” said Greenpeace campaigner Beau Baconguis. “This raises, at least, two problems: littering and continued production of plastic waste,” she added. “When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves”. David Orr I choose to support the banning of plastic because the use of it primarily attributes the occurrence of natural calamities. Little of us do know that we, ourselves contribute in triggering such phenomena. There isn’t any problem with the plastic itself, but the way or the manner of how people use it spells out the grim result of irresponsibility of disposing plastics. So, better to lessen the factor that causes the occurrence of floods and other calamities we should start by completely vanishing the use of plastic.
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