(SPOT.ph) Several environment-friendly initiatives that aim to reduce plastic consumption have sprung up in the Philippines, such as a plastic-free wet market in La Union and even a single-use plastic-free city hall in Cebu. But this newest eco-friendly development take things to a national level—on July 5, Senator Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 1866, also known as the Plastic Straw and Stirrer Ban of 2018. The bill seeks to ban the use of single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers, and similar non-biodegradable materials in restaurants and food establishments nationwide.
In a 2017 study by the environmental organization Greenpeace, the Philippines was found to be the third-worst contributor of plastic waste into the world's oceans, after China and Indonesia. Sen. Hontiveros hopes that this bill will start a national conversation on why we need to significantly reduce our consumption of single-use plastics. The senator notes that Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, allows for the creation of recycling programs, but she hopes that this proposed bill will serve as a more direct solution to the country's plastic consumption problem.
Senator Loren Legarda also filed a similar bill in 2016. Senate Bill No. 430, or the Plastic Bags Regulation Act, hopes to regulate and minimize the use of disposable plastic bags in the country.