Editorial: Going beyond banning single-use plastics

DAVAO City may have another landmark legislation soon as it currently has positive developments with the proposed ordinance on single-use plastics.

The Interface Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis) revealed that Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr., chair of the committee on the environment, has already presented the draft of the “Single-Use Plastic Regulation Ordinance of 2020” during a committee hearing.

Under the ordinance, 10 kinds of single-use plastics have been proposed to be banned including plastic drinking cups (recyclable or non-recyclable); plastic condiments (sauce or gravy container); plastic cup lids or covers; plastic stirrers; plastic straw; plastic cutleries such as spoon, fork, knife or a combination thereof; plastic meal packaging; plastic hand gloves; plastic materials used as buntings; and plastic materials used as balloon stick whether recyclable or non-recyclable.

However, the ban on the use of cellophane is still up for debate due to concerns raised by the business sector.

With the ultimate goal to reduce waste and plastic pollution, the creation of the ordinance is commendable. We may not know the immediate impact of the proposed ordinance once it is implemented but we are hopeful that it will truly reduce the waste produced by the city.

However, the concerns of various sectors on the banning of some single-use plastics is valid considering that there is no material that can replace the versatility and usability of plastic. Hence, the best we can do for now is to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic.

But beyond the policy, the city can do more in reducing the waste and plastic pollution of Dabawenyos. It can actually start this early. Instead of conducting an information and education campaign on the use of single-use plastics once the ordinance is passed, it can already conduct a campaign now.

Since the ordinance will require Dabawenyos to adapt to it, it will take time for them to follow it. This is evident with the difficulty of many to comply with the city’s environmental laws, particularly, the ordinance on solid waste management.

It is not enough to simply pass the ordinance. But the government is also encouraged to go beyond by working hard to change the mindset of Dabawenyos towards plastic.

If Dabawenyos do not fully understand why such ordinance is being implemented, then it becomes another of the dozens of laws in the city that are not being strictly followed.


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