Press Release
July 7, 2019

De Lima: Heed global campaign vs single-use plastics

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has enjoined the whole nation to heed the global fight against worsening plastic pollution by pushing for the ban of single-use plastics in the country which remain harmful for the environment and the people.

De Lima underscored the significance of increased public awareness on plastic pollution not only to remind the populace to use reusable materials but also to prompt the government to take necessary and urgent actions involving plastic pollution.

"Single-use plastics such as drink stirrers, grocery bags, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, plastic cups and fast-food containers continue to pollute our waters and block waterways that often lead to flooding, especially during this rainy season," she said.

"We urgently need to increase public awareness and education on how overconsumption of plastics can adversely impact our ecosystems and push for the phase-out of single-use plastics in our country," she added.

Based on a 2017 Ocean Conservancy report, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines dump more than half of the eight million tons of plastic waste that end up in oceans every year.

"Ang mga basurang nalilikha sa buong bansa ay madalas napupunta sa kanal, estero, ilog at dagat. Kung titingnan lang natin sa Manila Bay, makikita natin na sa kabila ng tangkang linisin ito, patuloy pa rin at higit na dumadami ang mga basurang tinatambak dito," she said.

In the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok last month, the 10-member states agreed to combat marine debris, including "addressing the unsustainable use and disposal of single-use plastic products" by adopting the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region.

The ASEAN leaders reportedly agreed to encourage "an integrated land-to-sea approach to prevent and reduce marine debris and strengthen national laws and regulations as well as enhance regional and international cooperation including on relevant policy dialogue and information sharing."

The lady Senator from Bicol urged the government to undertake necessary research to present the best alternatives to single-use plastics and assess its impact on several industry workers.

"We need to take heed of the global campaign to reduce plastic waste seriously if we want our children and our children's children to have a better world to live in," she said.

According to United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa, there would be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, and that "microplastics are now confirmed in table salt, in fresh water, each person on the planet is believed to have plastic in their bodies."

News Latest News Feed