Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Firms seek suspension of plastics ban

An industry group is appealing to the local government of Muntinlupa City to postpone the implementation of a city ordinance signed into law last year that bans the use of plastic bags as packaging material for goods sold in the area.

In a letter sent to Mayor Aldrin San Pedro and members of the city council, the Philippine Plastics Industry Association (PPIA) sought the suspension of the plastic and styrofoam ban in the city “temporarily” on the grounds that applicable laws were already in place and the fact that the national government has yet to prohibit the use of the material.

“In seeking the suspension of implementation of the ordinance, we want to make it clear that the PPIA has no intention whatsoever to hinder the calls for environmental consciousness,” the letter read, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer through the group’s counsel Raymund Palad.

“The association also realizes the significance of addressing the solid waste concerns brought about by the use of plastics products,” it added.

The group cited the solid waste management law, which they claimed did not outlaw the use of plastics, as among the causes for suspending the implementation of the ordinance.

Since Republic Act No. 9003 mandates the establishment of materials recovery facilities (MRF) in all barangays in the country, “the urgent concerns on the problems brought about by the use of plastics can be addressed already,” PPIA said.

Garbage in barangays (villages) should go first through the MRF, where waste would be segregated properly before final disposal, according to a provision in the law.

The group also argued that RA 9003, as well as the National Solid Waste Management Commission have not banned the use of plastics outright.

San Pedro acknowledged the task of MRFs to segregate the trash, but leaving the sorting of trash solely to the facilities was not a solution to the garbage problem, he said.

He added that the city government had already given plastic firms one year to effect a transition from plastic packaging to biodegradable and reusable ones.

San Pedro likewise cited the floods that brought a lot of plastic trash as among the factors that led city officials to impose the ban.


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