Climate body airs alarm over plastic pollution

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A recent study that found Philippine rivers as the top contributors of plastic pollution in oceans highlighted the issue of mismanaged plastic wastes in the country, according to the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

In a statement, the climate body reiterated its call for urgent efforts to solve the plastic crisis.

It said House Bill 9147 or the Single-Use Plastics Products Regulation Act, which was recently approved on second reading, serves as a potential measure that will effectively address the country’s high rate of plastic waste leakage.

“This ushers the start for producers to shift their dependence on throwaway packaging models to more sustainable reuse and refill systems,” it said.

The CCC said it “strongly urges the public to use alternatives and adopt workable community-based solutions to shift away from the single-use, throwaway culture that currently dominates our market.”

The study, conducted by Netherlands-based Ocean Cleanup and published in the journal Science Advances, estimated that the Philippines dumps more than 356,371 metric tons of plastic wastes annually through its rivers and waterways.

Out of the 1,656 rivers in the world that contribute 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution, 466 are located in the Philippines.

The 27-kilometer Pasig River, which runs through Metro Manila, accounts for around 63,000 tons of plastic entering oceans from rivers per year, now the largest contributor worldwide.

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