More and more Filipinos are recognizing the reality of the plastic pollution problem in the Philippines, and they're also becoming more open to sustainable non-plastic packaging options.
A survey commissioned by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives revealed that 7 out of 10 Filipinos are in favor of a permanent ban on single-use plastics.
A majority of the survey's 1,800 respondents agreed to regulating single-use plastics such as sando bags (71 percent), plastic straws and stirrers (66 percent), plastic labo bags (65 percent), styrofoam containers (64 percent), sachets (60 percent), juice tetra packs (59 percent), plastic cups (56 percent), plastic utensils (54 percent), juice plastic bottles (49 percent), and water plastic bottles (41 percent).
68 percent of the respondents said they are open to choosing more sustainable packaging alternatives for soy sauce, vinegar, and oil, and 42 percent expressed their willingness to purchase recyclable or refillable containers for shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing liquid, and liquid detergent. Four in 10 Filipinos were also in favor of companies to use non-plastic alternatives.
In November 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte was reported to consider banning single-use plastics. Bills have also been filed by Senators Francis Pangilinan and Cynthia Villar to legally prohibit single-use plastics, with Senator Villar’s Senate Bill 333 aiming to regulate the manufacture and importation of single-use plastic products.
In December 2019, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) urged Congress to tax single-use plastic bags per piece instead of per kilo to discourage manufacturers from potentially producing thinner bags that can be disposed of more easily after just one use.
Cities have also started taking action against plastic pollution. Parañaque City, for one, will be disallowing single-use plastics beginning June 2020.