(The effects of plastic wastes)
PLASTICS have been an alternative to bottles, baskets, ceramics, cartons and papers, since they are more durable. However, their durability also poses a lot of problems in our environment. Here are the top impacts of plastics in our environment:
- Animals – Plastics has been mistaken for food mostly by marine animals and birds. These are trapped in their stomachs and cause them a lot of pain and even death. Plastic wastes thrown in bodies of water poses a danger to marine wildlife as they usually get trapped on these.
- Land– The quality of soil worsens as more plastics are thrown and buried in the ground. In addition, plastic garbage becomes a breeding ground for diseases as these do not decompose.
- Air– Burned plastics cause air pollution. The gas released from burned plastics can cause respiratory problems to animals and humans.
Given these, various local governments in the Philippines has taken action in implementing plastic ban in their cities and municipalities.
- Los Banos, Laguna – started the ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam containers since 2008.
- Bacolod City, Bacolod – started the ban on the use plastic bags last 2011 and expanded the ban last November 2018 to include straws and stirrers.
- Baguio City, Benguet – prohibited establishments from issuing plastic bags and Styrofoam containers to its customers. This ban started May 1, 2018.
- Pilar (town of Siargao), Surigao del Norte – banned the use of single use plastics last February 2018.
- Boracay Island, Aklan – since it reopened last October 2018, it implemented stricter policies which include the ban on the use of disposable plastic items. Hotels, restaurants and resorts are also prohibited from using plastic bags.
- Some Cities in Metro Manila – Muntinlupa City started the ban on the use of plastics, while other cities followed. In Quezon City, the use of plastic bags is regulated by charging consumers P2.00 per plastic bag which goes to their green fund.
- Cebu City Hall – employees and concessionaires are not allowed to use plastic bags, straws, cups, plates, utensils, and Styrofoam containers. In the city, there is a twice a week ban on single-use plastics.
These places have implemented initiatives to protect the environment. We do not need to wait for our Local Government to pass bills to start contributing in saving our earth. We can start our own initiatives in homes, today.