Cimatu mulls ban on single-use plastic in Boracay

 

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is “seriously considering” a ban on single-use plastic items in Boracay to address its growing garbage problem.

The pollution-challenged island generates an estimated 90 to 115 tons of garbage a day, but only 30 to 40 tons are hauled out to mainland Malay, Aklan.

A large portion of Boracay’s trash is composed of single-use plastic products such as grocery bags, toothbrush, bottled water, sachets of shampoo and condiments, and soap wrappers, among others.

Cimatu said that prohibiting the use of single-use plastic products would not only help solve the island’s solid waste problem but also plastic pollution that threatens its marine environment.

“Plastic, particularly those for single-use packaging, has greatly contributed to the degradation of the environment,” Cimatu pointed out.

He added: “Plastic pollution continues to poison our oceans and injure marine life. When not properly disposed, they clog waterways and cause flooding.”

Cimatu said hotels will be encouraged to use dispensers for their liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner; while stores will be asked to sell condiments like soy sause, vinegar and cooking oil through refilling stations.

“Let us go back to basics. We used to bring a glass bottle to the sari-sari store when we buy cooking oil and vinegar. Let’s do the same now,” he said.

National Solid Waste Management Commission executive director Eligio Ildefonso supports a ban on single-use plastic items not only in Boracay, but all over the country.

“Single-use plastic is what its name says, for single-use,” Ildefonso pointed out. “It cannot be recycled and reused; people have no motivation to recover it. It has no further use so it should be discouraged.”

Ildefonso encourages the use of eco-bags when buying wet and dry goods. “Eco-bags can be reused; you can wash them; they do not contribute to solid waste,” he explained.

Boracay was closed to tourists on April 26 to give way to a six-month rehabilitation from environmental degradation mainly due to garbage and wastewater problems.

Last year, Cimatu ordered the removal of at least 20,000 cubic meters of residual waste from Boracay’s materials recovery facility (MRF) in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, which was used as an open dumpsite.

The huge volume of solid waste caused a longer turnaround time for garbage hauling trucks, thus resulting in accumulation of garbage and delay in its transfer to the sanitary landfill in mainland Malay.

Republic Act No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, mandates local government units to have a comprehensive solid waste management plan and establish an MRF in each barangay to efficiently receive, sort, process and store compostable and recyclable materials.

The law strictly prohibits the establishment and operation of open dumpsites. ###

News

 

PANGAPAT

DENR apprehends driver transporting dead wildlife

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Puerto Princesa City, together with the Philippine National Police, apprehended today the driver of an unplated elf truck carrying dead marine turtles and pangolins while passing through a security checkpoint station in Brgy. Sta. Lourdes.

Officials of CENRO PPC's Regulation and Enforcement Unit assigned in the station identified the driver as Joshue A. Calinog, who was also found to have an unlicensed .38 caliber pistol.

Palawan’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felizardo Cayatoc said Calinog was driving the truck loaded with 21 pangolins which scales were removed and then frozen; and 16 marine turtles (one green and 15 hawksbill), which intestinal parts were also removed and with only their heads and shells left intact. Pangolins and sea turtles are endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Authorities reported that the truck was from Roxas town. They have questioned Calinog but he had kept mum about the species. The driver was turned over to the police, while the wildlife species were brought to Palawan Council for Sustainable Development for proper documentation.

As this develops, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Henry Adornado has instructed the PENRO and CENRO concerned to coordinate with the authorities for the immediate filing of appropriate charges against the offender in view of the provisions of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and other laws. He also instructed all regional and field personnel to be more vigilant and intensify monitoring operations to track down and prevent unscrupulous individuals or groups from harming nature and wildlife.

“It was clear from the President’s State of the Nation Address. Protection of the environment must be our top priority. It will be a long journey and we are certain we will face a lot of challenges ahead. But we are more than ready to heed the call. Strategic measures are already in place and we are closely working with other agencies to strictly implement environmental laws and improve our operations. We can assure the public that we, at the DENR, uphold the welfare of our environment and natural resources above all else,” he said. ###

Photo Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources celebrated its 31st founding anniversary at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (Amphitheater) on July 4, 2018.

Themed “Ikaw, ako, tayo ang kalikasan,” the celebration aims to remind everyone his/her own duty to protect the environment and conserve the natural resources.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s pronouncement in his third State of the Nation Address

DENR MIMAROPA, partner groups cleanup Calapan coastline; share commitment to end plastic pollution

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