Sunday, January 30, 2011

Group warns vs ban on plastic

INSTEAD of banning the use of plastics that could displace about 175,000 workers, the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) is pushing for an improved waste collection and recycling system that it says will bring more economic benefits to the villages.

“What we need to do is to improve our waste-recovery and recycling programs from the barangay level up to the national government. In England, for example, they managed to put up the world’s largest recycling facility out of the proceeds from the sale of the recovered waste,” Jesus Arranza, FPI chairman, said.

He said local plastic makers are ready to buy the plastic waste so the concerned government units, especially the barangay, only need to come up with effective schemes in collecting these recyclable plastic materials.

“Aside from preventing the sewers from getting clogged, an improved waste-recovery and recycling program will also bring more economic benefits. The barangays and their communities will have additional earnings from the sale of the recovered plastics. Plastic makers will have ready inputs for production, which will help the country save on foreign currency, since less resins will be imported,” he said.

The municipality of Muntinlupa has already banned the use of plastics, a move that was even lauded by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. There were also proposals to impose additional levies on the use of plastics.

But Arranza said it is a wrong argument to say that plastics should be banned because the sewers are getting
clogged. “Plastics are not the problem but the waste-recovery and recycling system. That is the area where we should focus our attention on and not on the use of plastics per se.”

He said plastics are actually the better options, environmentally speaking, since plastic retains 100 percent of its energy. Plastics, he added, are also cheaper and more convenient to use.

“The local plastics industry also employs about 175,000 individuals so government units should think twice before coming up with regulations and laws that will jeopardize their livelihood. What needs to be done also is to have stricter implementation of pertinent laws and ordinances on antilittering and waste segregation,” he said.


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