Oceana joins call for #PlasticFreeSenate, bats for Legarda’s Senate Bill 246 to ban single-use plastics
Press Release Date: January 23, 2023
International advocacy organization, Oceana, lauds Senator Loren Legarda for filing the bill that will phase out single-use plastics within one year of its implementation with the restaurants and food establishments required to do away with single-use plastics as soon as the law becomes effective.
Legarda filed last year Senate Bill No. 246, the Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2022.
“We commend Senator Legarda for zeroing in on the urgency of the crisis on plastic waste, which hopefully triggers similar response from duty holders with mandates to effectively implement the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or Republic Act No. 9003, a very progressive law enacted more than 20 years ago. Studies are not lacking on health, climate and environmental impacts of plastic pollution enveloping our land, air and water, so the passage of this bill should be a priority,” said Oceana Vice President Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos.
Oceana has teamed up today with other civil society groups under Plastic Free Pilipinas with the Climate Change Commission and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda as they launched the #PlasticFreeSenate campaign, featuring a series of activities tackling the problem of single-use plastic and promoting zero-waste solutions and businesses. #PlasticFreeSenate kicked off with a press conference and ribbon cutting for a photo exhibit on plastic pollution that will run from January 23 to February 23, 2023.
“Oceana joins Plastic Free Pilipinas in supporting the #PlasticFreeSenate campaign and Senator Legarda’s bill for national ban on single-use plastics. We call on our other senators to support this measure. We need to stand strong together as we take on the massive problem of plastic pollution in the Philippines,” said Ramos.
Senate Bill No. 246 states that single-use plastic “threatens the food security of the country, given the dependence of the farming and fishing communities on the oceans. Plastic ocean pollution will also adversely affect the health of communities, with the microplastics getting into our food chains.”
The proposed measure presents a comprehensive approach by mainstreaming the use of alternatives through the provision of incentives for enterprises shifting to alternatives and for consumers who bring reusable/recyclable in takeout food items.
Ramos said this bill also empowers the citizens by recognizing their right to avail of legal remedies such as the filing of lawsuits for the purpose of enforcing the provisions and implementing rules and regulations, and protects enforcers and advocates through the anti-strategic legal action against public participation (SLAPP) or harassment suits.
Chile, Brazil, Belize, Ireland, and Austria, as well as cities, such as, New York in the United States, already have laws banning the use of certain single-use plastics while in Asia, China and Thailand have also initiated similar policies at the national level.
“Plastic does not degrade and will continue to afflict humanity for years to come if we do not act now. We have to! Using Dr. Jenna Jambeck and her team’s projections, with the business-as- usual scenario – growing population, increasing plastic consumption and increased waste generation, by 2025 “we may be adding 17.5 million metric tons of plastic per year. If that happens, then our cumulative input over time from 2010 to 2025 is projected to be 155 million metric tons.” One metric ton is equivalent to 1000 kilograms.
“Let us start 2023 right by supporting the call to ban single-use plastics to minimize its devastating impacts on the health of our planet and people. For the sake of our children and the children of the generations to come, we must act fast and put a stop to the scourge of plastic pollution once and for all,” stressed Ramos.
Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore the abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources. [END]
For More Information:
Joyce Sierra, Communications Manager, Oceana
Mobile: 09178214430 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org