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Environmental groups urge city to ban single-use plastic during Sinulog

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 08,2019 - 01:58 PM

Garbage is seen along a street after the 2018 Sinulog festivities. | CDN file

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Environmental groups are asking the Cebu City government to ban single-use plastic during Sinulog 2020.

The Ecowaste Colation, No Burn Philippines, and 5 piece-habit movement Cebu, said in a joint statement that in order to significantly reduce the production of wastes in the city and solve the garbage problem, single-use plastic must be faced out in public events held in the city, including the yearly Sinulog festival.

Aileen Lucero, the national coordinator of the Ecowaste coalition, said the city continuously deals with garbage problems yet it has not been implementing its own anti-littering ordinances on a daily basis.

Environment groups in Cebu urged the Cebu City government to ban single-use plastic in for Sinulog 2020. CDN Digital photo | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

In the records of the Cebu City Department of Public Services (DPS), the city collects, at most, 500 tons of garbage per day. 

Lucero said that if Cebu City strictly implements its ordinances on anti-littering and complementing these with new ordinances such as banning single-use plastic and styrofoam in public events, the garbage will reduce from the source, allowing the city to deal with less garbage in the waste management plants.

“Yung Sinulog napakaraming basura na nacocollect. Ayaw naman natin na ang napakasayang Sinulog naalala lamang dahil sa basura,” said Lucero.

(The Sinulog collects so much trash. We don’t want the festival to be remembered for its trash.) 

Watch Lucero’s interview here:

In 2019, the DPS recorded 11 tons of trash during the culmination of the Sinulog festival held on January 20.

Read: Cebu City gov’t urged: Address garbage collection issue for safety of public celebrating Sinulog

Opposition Councilor Alvin Dizon has proposed an ordinance banning single-use plastic in all public events in Cebu, currently pending in the committee on laws and committee on environment.

Lucero said they hoped the council can pass the proposed ordinance in time for Sinulog 2020, that the ordinance should be treated as urgent. 

However, Dizon said it will take at least six months to implement the proposed ordinance should it be ratified because part of the implementation would be the intensive education of the public regarding plastic wastes. 

“I already met with the Sinulog Foundation. They said they will stop using styrofoam in distributing food and stop using plastic cups during the Sinulog activities,” said Dizon. 

He also said the mayor may choose to hasten the implementation of the single-use plastic ban through an executive order. 

Here’s Dizon’s interview:

With this, he hopes for the cooperation of the Sinulog foundation in the advocacy of reducing plastic wastes in the city. 

Mayor Edgardo Labella, in a press conference on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, said he will study the viability of a plastic ban for Sinulog. 

“Maybe if that is really the feel of the people, we can issue an executive order,” said Labella. /bmjo

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TAGS: ban, Cebu City, single-use plastic

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