Editorial: No to biodegradable plastics-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
YES, biodegradable plastics are better than the non-biodiegradable plastics that we have become comfortable with. But that is not the whole point of the debacle we are now living. For one, a marine turtle will not wait three to six months to see if the plastic floating on the waters will biodegrade or not. The same with other marine critters that have been proven to be dying because of these wastes.
We’ve said it before and we say it again, had our city environment and natural resources officer brandished a “bayong” and that stainless steel stack of food containers that was common two generations ago when he announced that yes, plastics and styrofoam containers will be banned in Davao City, instead of being caught two times in two separate press conferences a month apart brandishing biodegradable plastic bags, then we know the future of our environment is in good hands because the problem is slowly being addressed.
But because he has been photographed close to endorsing these biodegradable plastic bags, we know that the problem will never be solved with the type of mentality we have among us.
Biodegradable plastic will biodegrade yes, but it will biodegrade after it has been hauled to the garbage dump and has thus cost each taxpayer for hauling. There is a bigger trap; many, who will find comfort in knowing they are using biodegradable plastics, will not change their wasteful ways and will thus use these in the same way they have been using plastics. Use and discard, use and discard.
At a food court in one of the malls, the attendants would remind you there is a P10 charge for each disposable plastic container for orders to-go. Of course, you’d say yes because you need food for lunch and it?s not lunchtime yet. As a result, there are now several disposable plastic containers in the office, that may be reused and recycled but only for a short period. Nothing beats the quality of the brands we have been using like Tupperware and Lock and Lock, which we use over and over and over again until the next generation. Or the old reliable stainless steel food keeper that was the food ration containers of long ago.
The message should be bring your own “baonan” and bring your own “bayong”.
We may have said no to plastic bags that used to wrap our food, but we have now replaced this with plastic containers that we can re-use three to six times before they get broken and junked. On the contrary, habit that should be pounded into our communal consciousness is that if you want to buy food from a restaurant to bring home or to the office, then bring you own baonan and if you are going to the grocery or department store, bring your own bag or bayong.
Let it be chic to carry around a bayong and please don’t show us those biodegradable plastics again lest we start to believe someone’s getting some endorsement fees from the biodegradable plastics manufacturers. We’re just speaking out our thoughts and no one can blame us for this observation.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 05, 2012.