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Single-use plastics banned in gov’t offices

Single use plastics have been banned in all government offices all over the country.

The National Solid Waste Management Commission, chaired by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu, signed last Feb. 12 NSWMC Resolution No. 1363, Series of 2020, directing the DENR to “prepare and implement” the ban on the use of “unnecessary” single-use plastic products by national government agencies, local government units, and all other government-controlled offices.

The plastic products covered by the ban are cups less than 0.2 millimeters in thickness, drinking straws, coffee stirrers, spoons, forks, knives, “labo” or thin and translucent plastic bags, and thin-filmed sando bags lower than 15 microns.

“The NSWMC resolution is a major step to curb the use of single-use plastic items that pollute our waterways, kill marine life, and contribute to our country’s increasing solid waste,” Cimatu said.

He said the DENR is expected to craft specific guidelines for the implementation of the plastics ban, which forms part of the government’s “solid waste avoidance and minimization strategy.”

Citing a United Nations report, Cimatu had earlier said the Philippines is one of top five contributors of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, accounting for about half of the total plastic leakage.

“We produce 2.7 metric tons of plastic waste every year,” Cimatu said. “Following this trajectory of plastic production and mismanagement, UN reports predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish.” (Ellalyn Ruiz)

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