Zubiri, Pimentel vow to support measures banning single-use plastics

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri vowed to support and fast-track any proposed measure at the Senate that would seek to ban single-use plastics, following reports that the Philippines was one of the major sources of plastic waste dumped in the oceans.

These single-use plastics include sachets of shampoo, coffee, and toothpaste that are widely available.

Zubiri noted that there are local ordinances limiting the use of plastic containers, but no national law.

“It’s about time we pass a law. Being majority leader of the Senate, I would wholeheartedly support and fast-track the approval of my colleagues in their bills— and I will file my own bill— on the banning of these single-use plastics,” he told reporters at the Kapihan sa Senado forum.

He said he would calendar the measures every day until these are approved on third and final reading, noting that there is so much plastic waste in bodies of water that these have even formed islands.

READ: Plastic waste from PH, other countries causing Asia’s ocean pollution crisis

Meanwhile, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III also called on Filipinos to change their habits and reconsider using plastic, including single-use bags, especially since nations are observing World Oceans Day on Friday.

According to Pimentel, there were estimates saying that there would be more plastic than fishes in the oceans by 2050.

“It will be a disaster for everyone if we are to lose our fishing industry and the livelihood and sustenance it provides,” he said in a statement.

He noted that the strong economy has increased production and consumption, but it also generated more waste. “It’s time we consider how we can use plastic in a less destructive way,” he said.

For instance, the country could require disposable plastics to be biodegradable, he said.

“I understand the convenience and economics of plastic use. However, we should never let short-term benefits doom us in the long term,” he added. /ee

READ: Greenpeace: PH is third worst plastic polluter of oceans


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