LGUs Urged to Actively Enforce Plastic Bag Ordinances during Undas (Undas Not An Excuse for All-Out Use and Disposal of Plastic Bags)

1 November 2013, Quezon
City.  The EcoWaste
Coalition today urged concerned local government units (LGUs) with ordinances
banning plastic bags to fully enforce their regulations as Filipinos from all
walks of life gather in cemeteries to remember their dearly departed relatives.

“The mammoth gathering of people in public and private cemeteries during Undas
should not be used to justify the laid-back enforcement of key environmental
measures such as the various LGU ordinances banning plastic bags,” said
environmentalist Sonia Mendoza.

Mendoza is the head of the Ecowaste Coalition’s Task Force on Plastics and
chairman of the Mother Earth Foundation.

Stores and vendors doing their business inside and outside the cemeteries
should not be exempt from following such ordinances, which are meant to promote
and protect the common good. 

“We hope that concerned LGUs will take extra steps to ensure that such
ordinances are not relegated to the trash bins as the age-old practice of
remembering the dead is observed,” she stated.  

“Let it not be said that those tasked to enforce these environmental ordinances
were sleeping on the job and allowed the deluge of plastic bags right under
their noses,” she said.

“Vendors, we also hope, will cooperate and observe the restrictions on the use
of plastic bags, as well as polystyrene containers, accordingly,” she added. 

The EcoWaste Coalition, Mother Earth Foundation and other green groups have
hailed these local ordinances as vital measures aimed at trimming down the
country’s burgeoning solid waste and the subsequent disposal costs , averting
flood woes, reducing greenhouse gases and instilling environmental awareness
and responsibility among businesses and citizens.

According to a recent advisory
by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the volume of waste
generated nationwide estimated at 30,000 tons per day “shoots up during public
events.”  Metro Manila is
the country’s biggest waste generator, churning out over 8,000 tons of trash

In the said advisory, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje urged the public to “abide
by local ordinances regarding the use of plastic bags” for a garbage-free

at least 90 LGUs have enacted ordinances banning or regulating plastic bags,
with Caloocan City becoming the newest LGU to prohibit most plastic and
Styrofoam packaging materials last September.

In Metro Manila, the cities of Las Piñas, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa,
Pasay, Pasig and Quezon have enacted ordinances to address head-on the many
problems associated with the unrestrained use and disposal of plastic bags.