Supreme Court bans single-use plastics in its offices

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday announced it has implemented an “outright ban” on single-use plastics in its offices in line with efforts to promote sustainability.

In a Memorandum dated February 28, the Supreme Court said it is adopting the solid waste avoidance and waste management strategy of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The NSWMC last week approved a Resolution No. 1363 banning “unnecessary” single-use plastics, covering national government agencies, local government units, and other government controlled-offices.

The resolution directs the DENR to “prepare and implement” the ban on single-use plastic products, including cups less than 0.2 millimeter in thickness, drinking straws, coffee stirrers, spoons, forks, and knives.

The ban also covers “labo” or thin and translucent plastic bags, and thin-filmed sando bags lower than 15 microns.

The commission said the move is seen as 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.”

“This directive is consistent with the Court’s efforts towards sustainability,” the high court said in a statement.

The SC also revealed that in October 2019, it has presented a construction project of the Manila Hall of Justice (MHOJ), which is certified as the first green courthouse in the Philippines.

The project, which will feature three environment-friendly and green-certified interconnected buildings, is set to be completed by 2022.

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