Group wants City Hall to immediately ban single-use plastics to mitigate flooding

·2 min read

A CIVIL society group is calling on the Cebu City Government to ban the use of single-use plastics to address plastic pollution and mitigate the flooding problem in the city.

The group composed of environmental protection organizations such as Break Free From Plastic PH Project, Philippine Earth Justice Center Inc., Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Ecosystems Initiative and EcoWaste Coalition, among others, released a position paper on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, where they pushed for an enforcement of a whole system approach to waste management.

Executive order

The group pointed out that the agreement between the City Government and bottled water manufacturers to put up water bottle receptacles around the city does not guarantee to solve the problem.

It instead proposed the immediate ban on single-use plastics and styrofoam food packaging.

While two proposed ordinances banning the use of single-use plastics are pending before the City Council, the group appealed to Mayor Edgardo Labella to issue an executive order banning the single-use plastics and styrofoam and segregating wastes from all offices of City Hall.

The group also flagged the waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration project the City’s joint venture selection committee is negotiating with Sky Energy.

Suggestions

According to the group, it “is not a sustainable solution.”

“Burning hazardous solid wastes through the WTE incinerator will transform the wastes into toxic air pollutants resulting in the release of toxic metals, such as lead and mercury, dioxins and furans, acid gases and other toxic substances to the air, water and soil,” the group said.

The group suggested that the City should ensure segregation from source to final disposal and institute clear waste diversion program.

Of the 230 tons of garbage the City collected after last month’s flood, 60 percent were plastic bottles.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach city officials for their comment on the group’s suggestions, but to no avail. (JJL)