DENR-7 urges public to stop using single use plastic bottles

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz January 23,2020 - 02:19 PM

Use reusable bottles to lessen single use plastic bottle waste. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) renewed it’s call for the public to stop using single-use plastic water.

In a statement posted on DENR-7 Facebook page, Executive Regional Director Paquito Melicor suggested switching to reusable water bottles.

Melicor made this statement after data showed that around 90 percent of the trash collected during the recently concluded Sinulog Celebration were composed of plastic water bottles.

Read more: Environmental advocate asks Sinulog crowd to dispose plastic water bottles properly

“Using a reusable metal or glass bottle instead of buying water each day is a great alternative to single use plastic bottles,” said Melicor. “While our primary concern is to cut down plastic pollution, investing in a reusable water bottle is also a practical way to reduce spending and save money.”

Manufacturing plastic bottles has become a major business in the Philippines. In fact, just one company produces around 500 million bottles a year.

On the other hand, Melicor added that Cebu City have been experiencing many flooded areas even during light to moderate rains.

“Let us not add to the problem by leaving uncollected and unsegregated waste spread on the streets or in open lots that find their way into and choke our rivers and esteros, posing risks to the health and safety of surrounding communities during heavy rains,” Melicor said.

In Cebu City alone, plastic wastes comprise 15 percent of the estimated 460 tons of waste collected daily, according to a case study conducted in 2017 by the Institute for Global Environment Strategies Centre Collaborating with  United Nations Environment Programme on Environment Technologies.

Plastic in any form is one of the biggest challenges of the environment.

While the national and local governments have been doing its best to improve the management of wastes and address its impacts, DENR 7 also continues to encourage local communities especially in Central Visayas to be ‘environmentally-responsible consumers’ by choosing reusable items over plastic packaging to contribute in addressing the massive garbage problem and other environmental concerns.

Not only is single use plastic problematic for the environment but some forms of plastic have been proven to be detrimental to human health, DENR-7 pointed out.

A report of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternative found that the average Filipino uses 591 pieces of sachets, 174 shopping bags and 163 plastic labor bags each year.

Also, 17.5 billion pieces of shopping bags and 45.2 million plastic labor bags are used throughout the Philippines each year, the study disclosed./dbs

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TAGS: DENR, department, environment, Melicor, natural, plastic bottles, Plastic waste, Resources

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