Group wants to ban plastic bags in the Philippines


A group of climate and environmental activists have appealed to the highest court in the Philippines to force the government to take action to prevent the “irreversible” damage to the environment caused by the use of plastic by people. large companies.

Oceana Philippines has filed a 100-page complaint with the Supreme Court calling on the government to respect a constitutional right to a healthy environment.

The group calls for a ban on commercial establishments, warehouses and manufacturers from selling, transporting, distributing and using disposable plastic bags containing endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol-A.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of products containing bisphenol-A after studies showed the compound affected the growth, reproduction, and development of aquatic organisms in the oceans and other areas of the world. ‘water.

“After 20 years of thumbs up, it has become very clear that [government officials] cannot be disturbed to avoid or decrease plastic pollution in accordance with the precautionary principle, ”Oceana wrote in her petition.

The precautionary principle allows decision-makers such as the president and members of the cabinet to adopt pro-environmental measures when there is evidence of environmental degradation and threats to human lives.

We should be inspired by their courage to challenge big business not to pollute our waters with the plastics they use

Oceana Philippines highlighted a 2020 Philippine brand audit citing eight major companies that produced harmful chemicals and were the country’s top plastic polluters.

“The 2020 audit covered 38,580 pieces of branded plastic waste collected from 17 sites,” the group said.

Oceana Philippines also cited a report from the University of Oxford that found about 80% of the world’s ocean plastic waste comes from rivers in Asia, with the Philippines contributing a third of that total.

Future generations must “have a chance to be born into a world that does not drown in plastic,” the group said.

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Father Junjun Carbonel from the Diocese of Digos in Davao Province supported this decision, saying that taking care of the environment is a moral duty of all Christians.

“It’s good that this group of environmentalists is brave enough to mount a case to seek protection from the Supreme Court. We should be inspired by their courage to challenge big business not to pollute our waters with the plastics they use, ”Father Carbonel told UCA News.

Efforts to tackle plastic waste deserve praise, the priest said, citing a recent clean-up campaign in which Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi collected plastic from the seabed in Bicol province.

“He led a group of divers to clean the seabed in his diocese. It was so inspiring, ”he added.

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