DENR Regional Director Ralph Pablo said since the conception of the World Environment Day in 1974, every year, the observance focuses on pressing environmental concerns, which for this year centers on the theme, “Moving Towards a Plastic – free Future.”
The World Environment Day campaign slogan is “Beat Plastic Pollution” which calls for individuals to take charge of their surrounding and realize the severity of using plastic in daily life, Pablo said.
A large part of the population depends on the daily use of plastics and nearly a third of plastics (used) are not disposed properly and end up clogging drains and choking the environment, polluting waters, harming marine life and posing threat to human health.
Pablo reiterated their call to Cordillera communities especially local government units to support this year’s World Environment Day campaign towards a plastic free – future.
DENR – Environment Management Bureau Regional Technical Director Reynaldo Digamo, meantime, informed that under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, they have been campaigning for the reduction, reusing and re – cycling solid waste materials including plastics.
He explained that if people or community cannot “re – use” (plastic) then they should “refuse” (using- it), thus local ordinances banning or regulating the use of plastic also play important role in the campaign.
In the Cordillera, the campaign on regulating the use of plastic in local communities is slowly gaining ground with the City Government of Baguio as the recent supporter backed by city council resolutions.
The DENR also appealed for the cooperation of Cordillera visitors to key tourist destinations in the region in properly managing their waste especially plastics. They are encouraged to bring re – usable drinking water containers, not disposable plastic water bottles. Juliet D. Pilotin (JDP/CCD with K. Jocson- PIA CAR/UC Intern)