Banning plastic bags not a solution to address waste disposal problem

BANNING the use of plastic bags is not the solution to address the worsening problem on waste disposal which has been blamed for clogging and flooding during the rainy season.

Rep. Winston Castelo (Quezon City), author of House Resolution 2337, said the government should instead enforce government programs on waste segregation, recovery and recycling.

Castelo said the National Ecology Center (NEC) should implement measures to keep cities and municipalities clean and environmentally friendly in terms of waste management.

Castelo said the problem on waste disposal can be address properly if the NEC will effectively implement Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“The main job of the NEC is to make sure that the environment will stay clean,” Castelo said.

Castelo said the banning of plastic bags which is being implemented in several cities and municipalities in the country had created new problems and inconveniences for the people.

Castelo said some countries have adopted a policy of regulating the use of plastic bags instead of banning it.

“Plastic bags are an all-purpose material and using it in food is safe and very convenient to use. Banning the use of plastic bags is taking its toll on the industry and the public,” Castelo said.

“Banning the use of plastic bags has an environmental cost since producing one 183-gram cotton bag requires the use of 30 gallons of water or to make one paper bag, it requires one gallon of clean water,
which is all it takes to make 116 plastic bags,” Castelo added.

However, the Ecowaste Coalition, an environmental group said plastic bags have been more dangerous to the environment than paper because plastic products are made from petroleum, a dwindling natural resource
requiring carbon-intensive extraction, transportation and refining.

China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore and Taiwan, are also on the warpath against plastic shopping bags.

These countries have passed local laws that ban plastic bags, on the basis that they clog sewers and drainage canals, cause street flooding, choke animals and are responsible for other forms of environmental damage.

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