DENR-6 WAGES WAR ON PLASTIC STRAWS
THE WAR against beating plastic pollution is becoming widespread, awakening the consciousness of people around the world of its dangerous effects.
Many organizations have been campaigning on reducing the use of different kinds of plastics such as sando bags, styrofoam, plastic bottles, plastic utensils and more.
But undeniably, we may have given little attention in eliminating another kind of plastic, a little thing frequently unnoticed and provides a very minimal convenience for a few seconds/minutes. It is a single-use plastic that is quite nonessential – PLASTIC STRAWS.
We may ponder that a single straw isn’t a big issue to be dealt with but let’s do the math. If the current population of the country is 106,989,899 as of October 2018 and each person uses three straws per day, that’s more than 320 million straws every single day! It can nearly fill 82 school buses each day.
In order to raise awareness about our plastic pollution problem, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 has launched the “T.H.R.O.W. the Straw: An Environmental Campaign/Drive against plastic pollution” at the Casa Real, Iloilo City, just recently.
T.H.R.O.W. is an abbreviation used for Trim Halt Refuse Omit and Waive the use of Plastic Straw which aims to mitigate and eventually eliminate the use of this short-lived tool. This campaign may substantially bring good numbers in reducing plastic wastes which are the major threats to our drainage and river system which may result to flooding and other environmental issues.
DENR-6 initiated the campaign, in collaboration with the Regional River Basin Management Office and the Iloilo City Government through the City Environment and Natural Resources (ENRO) and municipality of Oton.
Present in the launching were River Basin Control Office (RBCO) Executive Director Antonio M. Daño, Mayor Carina V. Flores of Oton, Iloilo; DENR-6 Conservation and Development Division Chief Danilo L. Lorilla, PENRO-Iloilo chief Arturo Cangrejo, Mayor Jose Romi Marañon of Leganes, Iloilo; MENRO-Oton head Menchie G. Paniergo and Straw Wars Philippines Founder Nikko Paolo V. Calledo.
The activities during the launch are the Ceremonial Cutting of the Straw: Marking the obliteration of plastic straw in our daily use; and Unveiling of Official Poster and Commitment Signing by leaders and stakeholders who signified their support by affixing their signatures on the official poster.
“We may think that this is a small matter but the volume of straw is big thus this is a global concern. We have tapped the Local Government Unit to help us in the regulation plastic straws because they have the power to enact the ordinance,” said DENR-6 Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Livino B. Duran in his message.
“We are urging the public to take part in this campaign by using and owning alternative straws either made from bamboo, glass, metal or paper to reduce the large number of volume of plastics that clogged our waterways and rivers. Remember, it takes 200 years for this single-use plastic straw to decompose,” said DENR-6 Regional Executive Director Jim O Sampulna.
“Come to think of it. We literally use plastic straws once. Undeniably, straws have been a part of our daily activities. A little change in our usual habit of using plastic straws into alternatives or no straws at all is what we need to do to make a big difference in our fight against plastic pollution,” he added.
Some fast food chains, restaurants and coffee shops in Iloilo City took part in the campaign and have fully expressed their support by refraining from using of plastic straws unless requested by customers.