It is time for Filipinos to consider how they can use plastic in a “less destructive way,” Senator Koko Pimentel said on Thursday.
He urged Filipinos to consider reducing their use of plastic as the world observes World Oceans Day on Friday, June 8.
A 2015 Ocean Conservancy report said that more than half of the 8 million metric tons of plastic waste dumped into the oceans every year comes from countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“Our economy’s strong performance has increased production and consumption,” Pimentel said.
“Unfortunately, it also increased the plastic waste we generate in the course of our daily activities,” the senator said.
He deplored some reports that by 2050, there will be “more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.”
“It will be a disaster for everyone if we are to lose our fishing industry and the livelihood and sustenance it provides,” Pimentel said.
He expressed affirmed full legislative support for the global agenda to conserve and sustainably use the oceans during the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting held from February 13 to February 14, 2018.
Pimentel recommended “doing away with single-use plastic bags and suggested mandating that disposable plastics be biodegradable.”
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship, Pimentel is considering legislation to limit the use of plastics in industry and trade.
“I understand the convenience and economics of plastic use. However, we should never let short-term benefits doom us in the long term,” he added.