Plastic producers, LGUs urged to incentivize proper waste disposal

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Companies producing single-use plastics and the local government units (LGUs) should have a bigger responsibility in ensuring that plastic waste will be properly disposed of, instead of leaving it in the hands of consumers, a non-profit organization promoting solutions to the climate crisis said Friday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 20) — Companies producing single-use plastics and the local government units (LGUs) should have a bigger responsibility in ensuring that plastic waste will be properly disposed of, instead of leaving it in the hands of consumers, a non-profit organization promoting solutions to the climate crisis said Friday.

The Climate Reality Project Philippines urged companies and LGUs to incentivize the public to reuse or recycle single-use plastics. Some of its suggestions include a trash-to-cashback program wherein people earn points that can be converted into cash every time they donate their plastic waste.

"Dapat hindi lang nila inaasa sa consumers 'yung responsibility of properly disposing these sachets and other plastic products," said Ian Soqueño, the group's Plastics and Energy Campaign Lead told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon. "Dapat meron mga programs 'yung mga companies, and not just the companies, but then the local government units din, dapat meron din silang programa to handle this waste effectively."

[Translation: They should not just rely on consumers to properly dispose their sachets and other plastic products. Not just the companies, but the local government units as well, should also have programs to handle this waste effectively.]

Soqueño said this is important since only 9% of the world's plastic waste is being recycled while the rest flow to landfills and oceans, harming marine life.

He also emphasized the contribution of plastic pollution to the climate change crisis.

"Every stage ng [of the] plastic life cycle, from the extraction of materials, extraction of fossil fuels from deep underground, up to the transportation of plastic products, may kaakibat 'yan na carbon emissions [contribute carbon emissions]," said Soqueño.

LGUs should also be proactive in enforcing ordinances that would regulate plastic disposal and provide a clear definition of which products should be considered as single-use, he added.

Soqueño cited the practices of Marikina, Makati and Quezon cities.

"For Marikina, meron silang parang [they seem to have a] general definition of single-use plastics. Sa Makati naman [In Makati], they are really focused on inspections sa mga [of] companies and for Quezon City naman, it's a mix of both," he added.