EDITORIAL | Environmental scourge

PLASTICS could very well be the environmental scourge of this century. Across the world, there is much concern going on about the use of plastics and how it has endangered the environment, with tons and tons of waste which can form an island that can eventually choke the life out of the natural resources.

In London, a group of environmentalists are working on clearing the River Thames of floating plastic waste and spur consciousness on the problem besetting this famous river. The group has found plastic objects washed up on the riverbank including plastic bags used for dog poop and one-use cups. The organizers think that cleaning campaigns are “really gratifying” but what needs to be done is to stop the source of the garbage. They have an ongoing campaign now to raise awareness on the ill-effects of dumping waste anywhere.

Our own experience is not much different. Dolphins and whales beach in our seas and are found to ingest plastics and all kinds of waste which could have caused their deaths. Our proclivity of using small sachets and the habit of throwing candy wrappers anywhere add to the problem of our already suffering waste management system.

The international environmental watchdog Greenpeace issued a statement on September 2017 that the country produces about 1.88 million metric tons of plastic wastes every year. It also noted that multinational companies such as Nestlé, Unilever, and Indonesian firm PT Torabika Mayora are the top contributors of plastic wastes in the Philippines.

All is not lost, however. Unilever announced it will invest in new technology that will make its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. It will be testing the business model in Indonesia and if successful, will roll it out to other markets.

There are efforts by some companies to minimize the use of plastics or to give incentives to customers who will bring their own reusable containers. Some have recycled plastics into something usable and enduring. Still, the most effective way to contribute to a clean and healthy environment is really to heighten awareness on the perils of non-biodegradable waste and to be mindful that whatever we do can have direct impact on the environment.

CARTOON

Posted in Opinion