Disposal still a problem

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Monday, July 7, 2014

PLASTIC bags are not really that bad at all.

Architect Miguel Guerrero of Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines stressed in a seminar held recently in the Summer Capital the importance of appropriate technology and materials in achieving sustainable development.

The use of plastic bag is one.


"I think plastic is not so bad," he quipped highlighting the issue is not on the material but on the disposal.

Guerrero said the enforcement of local government units (LGUs) on the use of paper bags as replacement for plastic bags is just for the sake of compliance that will earn them "pogi points".

Although the use of paper bag is a good initiative because it is biodegradable, he pointed out it is also disposable making it non-practical especially when used for wet goods compared to plastic which, aside from reusable is likewise recyclable.

Guerrero explained plastic can be recycled the same as papers citing Hilex' Poly Bag-2-Bag Recycling program.

Consumers who get their goods in plastic can dispose their empty plastic bags to recycling bins, which will then be baled for shipping and transported to recycling centers.

The used plastic bags will be cleansed, processed and repelled; and then new plastic bags can be made again out of the recycled materials.
Guerrero concluded LGUs can shift the advocacy into proper disposal of plastic bags instead of banning it as it is practical and an appropriate material for human use.

Baguio Water District general manager Engr. Salvador Royeca also agreed to the idea.

Aside from disposable, he implied the use of paper bag may not be a pro-green move at all as production of paper compromises trees that do not only affect the environment but the whole of ecosystem.

The Total Plastic Ban Act of 2011 promotes use of paper bags instead of plastic bags to prevent non-biodegradable materials and wastes from polluting the environment in the country.

Many cities have complied with this policy including Pasig, Marikina, Pasay, Malabon, Makati, Caloocan, Taguig, Pateros and Navotas among others.

Pasig City however, does not implement a total plastic ban but has a regulation on the use of plastic bags for wet goods.

This advocacy remains a challenge to Baguio City, which has been trying to implement a plastic ban.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 08, 2014.

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