70% of voters support candidates against single use plastic
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Seven out of 10 Filipino voters will support candidates who will ban single-use plastic across the country, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released by the environmental group Greenpeace on Tuesday.

“The voters have spoken, and they want candidates who will address the issue of plastic pollution with true and lasting solutions,” Abigail Aguilar, campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, said.

Results of the SWS survey showed a strong clamor for regulating or banning single-use plastics, Aguilar said.

The nationwide poll also showed that eight out of 10 Filipinos will vote for a candidate who will advocate for the strict implementation of solid waste management laws.

Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law provides for solid waste reduction through proper waste segregation, recycling, composting and other ecological methods before disposal in the appropriate facilities.

The implementation of the 18-year-old law has suffered from lack of political will, alleged corruption by local government officials and contradicting policies from agencies involved in waste management. 

“We are hearing a lot now on how politicians want to solve this crisis, but sadly these are band aid solutions that are mostly done for show,” Aguilar said.

“Our voters are looking at the midterm elections to choose candidates who will present a vision and see that vision translate into action,” she added.

Aguilar said the SWS findings proved that plastic pollution has become an important issue for Filipinos. 

The survey also found that eight out of 10 Filipinos support prohibiting groceries, public markets, fast-food chains and other similar establishments from using or providing non-biodegradable plastic bags, with a net approval rating of “extremely strong.”

Aguilar urged corporations producing plastic to be more responsible and show their willingness to solve the problem of plastic pollution.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 15 to 23 last year, with 1,500 respondents nationwide.

The European Union is expected to launch this year a program that aims to help countries in East and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines implement better plastic waste management in the region.

Last year, the EU adopted a Circular Economy Action Plan, which aims to ensure that all plastic packaging in the European market would be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastic significantly reduced and the intentional use of micro plastic restricted. – With Rhodina Villanueva

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