Mayor Sara certifies as urgent proposed measure banning single-use plastics

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Feb) – The draft ordinance banning single-use plastics (SUPs) has been certified as urgent, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Duterte announced in her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday that she has written the City Council of Davao a letter to discuss the proposed measure with expediency, following the concerns raised by environmental groups here due to the alarming increase in the volume of plastic wastes.

Authored by Second District Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr., the proposed ordinance intends to regulate the sale and use of the SUPs, which are polluting the environment, and encourage the use of reusable items to reduce the production of wastes.

The SUPs, in his draft ordinance, are defined as “disposable” recyclable and non-recyclable plastics, which are “designed or placed on the market to be used once over a short time span before being disposed or discarded.”

The proposed ordinance specifically identified SUPs as plastic drinking cups; plastic condiment, sauce or gravy container, both recyclable and non-recyclable; plastic cup lids or covers; plastic stirrers; plastic cutlery (spoon, knife, or fork); plastic straws; plastic meal packaging; plastic hand gloves; plastic materials used as “buntings”; and plastic materials used as balloon sticks.

Interface Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) executive director Mark Peñalver welcomed the statement of the mayor.

“We believe that this is a long overdue policy and we hope that this will be passed before this year ends or better if it will be passed this semester. This support coming from the Mayor is also very timely as we culminated the Zero Waste Month Celebration [in January],” he added.

Peñalver said IDIS has no available data on how much single-use plastics – classified as residual and recyclable – end up at the sanitary landfill.

He added that 29% of the recyclable and 19% of residual plastic wastes generated in the city would go to the landfill.

Last year, IDIS estimated that solid waste disposal at sanitary landfill was reported at 614 tons a day in 2019, higher as compared to 602 tons a day in 2018. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)