Asia’s monsoon season re-ignites calls of plastic bansPosted on July 15, 2014 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations
Although Asia’s increasingly frequent storm catastrophes have been annual events in Asia for decades they are now appearing with increasing frequency. Obviously the impact of climate change is generally agreed to be the main cause of storms. But in answer to the escalating urban disasters, politicians across the region have discovered that embracing the science of global warming may not be the messages voters want to hear, so another culprit has to be found: An obvious enemy, one that clogs the sewerage systems, blocks the drains and is plain to all as it floats downstream… the plastic bag is the cause of all the trouble!
Currently an estimated volume of 719cu.m (equivalent to 45 ten-wheeler trucks) of plastic bags enter the Quezon City (Philippines) waste stream every day. City officials said, “The single-plastic bags and their typical indiscriminate disposal by the public create significant litter problems that clog up canals and sewerage systems that cause floods”.
Industry Hits Back
In the face of this legislation the Philippine plastic industry is not taking it lying down – a coalition of industry groups, have taken advertisements in the media demanding the strict enforcement of the National Law; Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003), which considers ‘waste as a resource that can be recovered’ and sets out obligations for municipal authorities to effectively collect, separate and dispose of solid waste.
“With more cut trees and denuded forests, with more water and energy used, more carbon emissions and more trash, the plastic ban actually harms the environment,” the industry groups contend. In addition, they warn that “almost 200,000 workers of the plastic industry now face losing their jobs.”
A good example of greedy manufacturers not wanting to own up to the problems their product cause. They argue it takes less energy and emission to MAKE a plastic bag than it does a paper one, therefore there should be no limitations put on plastic bags. But they do not address the issue of the problem of DISPOSING a bag at all. That is where the problem is.
They also say it is the municipal councils problem to pick up the bags. Let us not for get the municipal council is us the tax payers. We the tax payers should not have to pay to fix problems the products of these manufacturers make. The responsibility clearly lies with them. Some plastic tax or bag charge or such is needed to disway the users from taking them. Only then will the real cost of a plastic bag be realised on a direct cost basis.