7 in 10 Filipinos want ban on single-use plastics, survey says
This file photo shows a man wading through the sea of trash.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File

7 in 10 Filipinos want ban on single-use plastics, survey says

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - January 21, 2020 - 3:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — A large majority of Filipinos are in favor of banning the use of single-use plastics—often referred to as disposable plastics—across the country, a new Social Weather Stations survey suggests.

Plastic pollution is a problem in the Philippines. The country—along with China, Vietnam and Indonesia—is frequently listed among the top contributors to marine plastic pollution.

The survey, commissioned by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, found that seven out of 10 Filipinos want single-use plastics banned at all times.

Sando bags (71%) topped the list of materials that should be regulated or used less, according to the survey’s 1,800 respondents.

Sando bags were followed by plastic straws and stirrers (66%), plastic labo bags or transparent plastic without a handle (65%), styrofoam containers (64%), sachets (60%), tetra pack for juices (59%), plastic drinking cups (56%), plastic spoons and forks (54%), plastic bottles for juice (49%) and plastic bottles for water (41%).

Sixty-eight percent said they would consider more sustainable packaging for condiments such as oil, soy sauce and vinegar, while 42% said they are willing to buy shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing liquid, liquid detergent and fabric container in recyclable or refillable containers.

Twenty-seven percent and 29% said they would consider buying powdered drinks powdered detergent products in more sustainable packaging than sachets.

The survey also showed that four out of 10 Filipinos believe companies should use or find alternative materials to plastic. Twenty-three percent said these firms should buy or collect plastics and recycle, while 14% want them to ban or stop the selling or production of plastics.

Froilan Grate, GAIA Asia Pacific executive director, said the survey results show that plastic pollution is an important issue for Filipino consumers.

“They are willing to sacrifice convenience and are already looking into refill options and other alternative systems. They expect our government leaders to address the plastic pollution crisis and go beyond lip service by banning single-use plastics in the whole country,” Grate said.

Almost 59.8 billion pieces of plastic sachets are used in the Philippines every year, according to GAIA study released last year. The report also showed that more than 17 billion shopping bags are used across the country annually.

The survey was done from September 27 to 30, 2019, months before President Rodrigo Duterte floated the idea of banning the use of plastics. Prohibiting or regulating the use of plastics, however, would require legislative action.

In the absence of a legislation that regulates plastic waste, more than 300 local government units crafted ordinances banning or regulating single-use plastics.

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