Law restricting plastics use pushed

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Consumernet-9, a consumer rights advocacy group in Zamboanga City, has urged local governments in the region to pass legislation that will regulate the use of plastic products.

Jamir Omar Abubakar of the Consumer Protection Division at the Department of Trade and Industry disclosed that a resolution had been passed unanimously by ConsumerNet-9 to support the growing clamor for the reduction in the use of synthetic packaging materials. The group also called for the return to the use of “bayong,” baskets and bags made of locally available materials that are more environment-friendly.

Abubakar, who also acts as head of the ConsumerNet-9 Secretariat, said in a statement issued by the DTI that the group’s resolution noted how plastic bags, plastic containers, and styrofoam now “contribute largely to the volume of waste being disposed daily and that these create considerable litter problems in communities and often times found clogging canals and sewerage systems causing flooding problems in many areas.”

The resolution also said that “polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene which are the base materials in the manufacture of plastics and Styrofoam are scientifically proven to be non-biodegradable, hence adding to the mountains of garbage that do not decompose even after a hundred years.”

DTI Regional Director Nazrullah Manzur, meanwhile, was quoted as saying that he had personally expressed support to the call of ConsumerNet-9 and other groups to regulate the use and distribution of materials that have an adverse impact on the environment.

Manzur noted that the DTI in Zamboanga del Sur, in coordination with other government agencies, the Pagadian Chamber and the Pagadian business community, launched in April last year an advocacy campaign dubbed as “Di Ko’g Plastic,” which aimed to make every Saturday a plastic-free day in the city and at the same time promote the use of locally made bayong as bags for shopping and marketing. Amy R. Remo

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