September 17, 2020 Thursday
Have separate bins for used masks, gloves, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid possible contamination. It is also important to start using sustainable packages for food and other necessities. Photos from unisanuk.com and pexels.com.
MANILA, 17 September 2020 — Amid the existing concerns on health and safety during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) also warned the public on the surge of plastic pollution due to the global production and consumption of single-use masks, latex gloves, personal protective equipment (PPE), alcohol and hand sanitizer bottles, and disposable cleaning agents.
The CCC stated that plastic waste may end up in our oceans, break into microplastics, and be mistaken for food by marine animals, such as fish, which humans also consume.
The climate body also expressed concern on the increasing volume of single-use plastic wastes from take-out and online shopping deliveries. As COVID-19 restricted public mobility, online shopping and food delivery services, often using single-use plastics, have further encumbered our waste management system. With this, the CCC called on local governments and citizens to help in addressing plastic pollution generated during this global health crisis.
The CCC also supported the implementation of Administrative Order No. 22-2013 issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the proper management and disposal of used masks, PPEs, and other considered hazardous (infectious) waste from hospitals, barangay health centers, and clinics. The climate body also stressed the importance of the enactment of the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act of 2000, which provides guidance on proper segregation at source, transportation, storage, transfer, processing, treatment, and disposal of solid waste and other waste management activities that do not harm the environment.
The CCC also encouraged households and individuals to refuse disposable plastic cutlery when having food delivered and support businesses offering more sustainable delivery packaging, such as cardboard or compostable bags.
The CCC expressed that the biggest challenge in adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is breaking old habits and making sacrifices for the climate and environment. But by slowly incorporating sustainable practices into our everyday activities, we would be able to protect both the health of the people, natural systems, and the planet.