AS the Philippines joins the observance of World Environment Day (WED) on Monday, June 5, 2023, with the theme “#beatplasticpollution,” Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda expressed hope for realizing the first global treaty to curb plastic pollution “by the end of 2024.”
“With the negotiations rolling, we are hopefully months away from a global plastics treaty that will address the scourge of plastic pollution,” she said, referring to the ongoing talks by country delegations, non-government organizations (NGOs), and industry representatives in Paris, France, on a legally binding pact that aims to stop upsurge of plastic waste.
This year’s UN (United Nations) World Environment Day theme focuses on people’s actions and how they matter. What governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution directly results from local actions.
With this, Legarda renewed her call to comply with RA (Republic Act) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and for the implementing agencies to take strategic actions to ensure compliance.
“It starts with us, and it starts with reduction. I can only keep calling the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local governments, and the public to stop making excuses.
We have the template; all we need is the will,” said Legarda, the law’s principal author.
According to a 2022 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, plastic waste is projected to almost triple by 2060, with around half ending up in landfill and less than a fifth recycled.
“The celebration of World Environment Day started in 1973 on the first day of the Stockholm Convention on the Human Environment. Today, 50 years later, the human environment is choking with plastic pollution,” Legarda lamented.
“When you refuse plastic bags or utensils, it may seem like a trivial matter, but it has pushed the envelope for policy,” she added in agreement with the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee’s call.