Saturday July 21, 2018

Environment group names 3 big pollutant firms

A NATIONAL environmental group named three big companies that have largely contributed to the country's water pollution violating the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

In a press conference, EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) National Head Aileen Lucero said they recently conducted an eight-day coastal cleanup last week in Manila Bay along with other national environmental groups like Greenpeace and Mother Earth Foundation.

"After eight days, we were able to generate 2,000 to 2,500 tons of waste and 50 percent of it are plastic materials," she said.

Brand auditing of all collected plastic materials was made by the participating environmental groups during the last day of the cleanup.

Lucero said the result of the brand auditing showed that two multinational companies, Nestle and Unilever, and an Indonesian manufacturing company of Kopiko were among the top three brands that accumulated most of the plastic wastes in Manila Bay.

"We sent a letter directed to the three companies immediately after the cleanup," she said.

However, only Nestle responded to them and assured that they will be changing the materials used in its product packaging, converting it into biodegradable material or at least environmentally-friendly packaging.

As consumers who purchase products of these companies daily, Lucero said they urged these companies, specifically Nestle, to hasten the plan to change the packaging material to prevent the increase of plastic accumulation in the country's water bodies.

"With this problem, we are highly addressing it to the companies. As long as they continuously package their products using plastics, they will continue to become the source of pollution not just in the Philippines but also in the whole world," he said.

Lucero also challenged the Congress to pass a Polluters Pay Bill that will mandate companies to be responsible on the wastes produced by their packagings and paying the government for the damages their products have caused.

EWC, she said, is planning to bring the eight-day coastal cleanup in other parts of the city, especially in Davao City, where there are numbers of local environmental groups willing to join.