BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio-Benguet Chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI-BBC), divulged the use of paper bags as alternative to the toxic plastic bags is far more expensive on its production stage, stating that something must be done by the local government to balance to state of the environment and the conduct of businesses in the said areas.
Although the policy seems to be a good regulation for the city’s use of plastics, Modesto B. Imayaho, PCCI-BBC vice president, cited it also inevitably sported out other concerns that must be effectively and efficiently addressed by concerned government agencies and local governments.
“He revealed for instance, instead of using plastic carrier bags, lots of commercial establishments are now using paper bags and other containers as specified under the provisions of Ordinance No. 26, series of 2007 as replacement.
However, Imayaho posed the question whether or not paper bags are as useful and durable as plastics?
“If so, let us this will encourage the production of more papers, which will, in turn, encourage the cutting of more trees. Isn’t the problem the same banana so to speak?” Imayaho stressed.
According to him, how about the common people selling plastics for a living; how about the almost 200,000 workers who stand to face loss of employment across 300 local manufacturing and processors of the plastic industry; how will or how did the regulating affect them?
If it did, Imayaho argued were they able to find other alternative means of livelihood? Hence, there is a need for local legislators to evaluate the effectiveness of the ordinance.
He asserted the city government should find substantial grounds before formulating the implementing rules and regulations of the ordinance ban or imposing penalties or any charge system imposed on the non-compliance on the use of plastics, but also provide for alternative to ensure that the former behaviour occurs less in the future.
Based on the group’s research, in order to produce one tone of paper bag, one must cut at least 17 trees and in order to produce one paper bag, one gallon of water is required to produce the same.
Of the total expenses to produce one tone of paper bag, it is able to produce 116 plastic bags.
Imayaho underscored the real problem is the indiscriminate disposal, improper handling and improper segregation of solid waste,, thus, PCCI-BBC proposed a concerted effort between the government and the business sector to establish a mechanism for the collection and recycling of plastic bags or rather the establishment of a recovery system for waste plastics for purposes of recycling which can be a better alternative and the more sustainable solution to the city’s population problem and clogging of drainage systems.