Presidential Communications Group head Sonny Coloma said that President Noynoy Aquino himself warned that he would go after polluters in neckties (a spin on the phrase 'hoodlums in robes') in stressing his determination to keep the environment clean and prevent climate change related disasters such Ondoy.
If he's really serious about this, the President should perhaps get the help of congress to pass legislation that will drastically reduce the use of plastics for packaging consumer products as well as raise funds for the proper and safe disposal of plastic garbage.
Just this morning, I came across a report in which MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that the major cause of blocked drainages and consequently flooding was plastic garbage.
Tolentino said since the start of dredging operations last week, the MMDA has cleared over 25,000 meters of the metropolis’ estimated 55,000 meters of waterways.
Most of these, he added, were clogged by plastic and other non-biodegradable materials in addition to untreated wastewater.The thing is, the very same waterways that the MMDA has just cleaned up will be clogged again with plastic trash after a few weeks or even days.
What is needed is a measure that will actually curb the use of plastics and this can come in the form of a tax that will be levied on consumers of goods in plastic packaging as well as manufacturers of these goods. They levy will increase the cost of goods in plastic packaging and thereby curb the demand for these goods. At the same time, the levy collected on the sale of goods packaged in plastic can fund the retrieval and proper disposal of plastic wastes.
According to the blog of Eco Waste coalition:
A discards survey in 2006 involving EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace volunteers shows that synthetic plastic materials constitute 76 percent of the floating trash items in Manila Bay, with plastic bags comprising 51 percent; sachets and junk food wrappers, 19 percent; Styrofoam containers, five percent; and hard plastics, one percent. The rest of the rubbish found in Manila Bay consisted of rubber (10 percent) and biodegradable discards (13 percent).