The city government of Tacloban has taken initial steps to regulate the generation of solid waste next year through the passage of an eco-friendly ordinance banning “single-use” plastic.
In an interview, Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin said an ordinance is needed since the sanitary landfill, which just opened this year and designed to last up to 10 years, is one-third full with mostly plastic wastes.
“This is due to failure of garbage collectors and villages to do waste segregation,” Yaokasin said.
The city generates an average of 113 tons of trash every day with 65 percent biodegradable and 22 percent residual. Ideally, only the residual waste should end up in sanitary landfills.
The ordinance is approved on its second reading. Despite its good intention, there is resistance from the affected businessmen, local official said.
He said the council and business owners are looking for the best alternative to single-use plastics.
“It should be both ways. They should also help us find solutions,” Yaokasin said.
“It is not only the consumers who are accountable for the generated plastic waste, but also the producers where the consumers purchase their products with plastic packaging,” he added.
The city government has been spending PHP75 million yearly for the collection and disposal of garbage.
The vice mayor said they are also looking at learning the best practices on solid waste management of other areas in the country to craft plastic use regulations.
For example, the total ban of single-use plastic can be enforced only on selected days similar to what has been implemented in some cities and towns.
“All these are great initiatives, but still one of the best solutions is proper education to our people on the proper waste disposal, segregation, and recycling as these are things that we failed to do,” Yaokasin said.
Single-use plastics include the packaging used for cold water, ice, shampoo in sachets, biscuits, chocolates, and other food products, along with grocery bags, straws, cups, glasses, cotton buds, among others. (PNA)