Greens press law banning plastic bags

By Angela Lopez de Leon – Green groups yesterday asked lawmakers to enact a law that will effectively put an end to plastic pollution.

“We ask lawmakers particularly in the Senate to enact a robust law to tame the plastic monster that is wreaking havoc on our fragile ecosystems,” said Sonia Mendoza of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Task Force on Plastics.

Mendoza suggested that the Senate consolidate the bills on plastic bags filed by Loren Legarda, Miriam Santiago and Manny Villar to create a “robust” law that will stop further plastic pollution in communities.

She said the push for a “strong” legislation on plastic bags is only “proper” given the widespread contamination of the environment from the unabated production, use and disposal of plastic bags.

According to the Ecowaste, plastic bags end up in the seas and dumpsites where they take a long time to break into very small bits.

The group said plastic bags also pollute the soil and water when they disintegrate as they become a toxic chemical.

Bits of plastic bags are also harmful to the food chain especially when animals mistake them for food.

Citing Villar’s Senate Bill 1103, the group said that “plastics are essentially non-biodegradable, take more than 100 years to dissolve, pollute the air and water and damage natural habitat.”

Santiago in her explanatory note for Senate Bill 1543 said that “somewhere between 500 billion to a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year and millions end up in the litter stream outside of landfills.”

Legarda in introducing Senate Bill 1368, said that “in all instances plastic bags are easily moved from place to place, clogging drainages in streets, polluting waterways and even endangering fish and ecosystems,” adding that “the production of these bags requires considerable amounts of crude oil and natural gas.”

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