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Krusada: “No Plastic Policy” Insights May 16, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
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Last week, I received an email inquiry from a staff of television program Krusada, a public-affairs documentary of media network ABS-CBN requesting for an interview regarding the No Plastic Policy implemented in Los Baños town, Laguna. It said that the program being hosted by Julius Babao will feature the non-use of plastics campaign of the town that figured prominently when it comes to waste management by virtue of its equally successful program on prohibiting and regulating plastic usage. Our Los Baños-based alliance, KALIKASAN Environmental Action Movement was identified as a reference entity. On Thursday morning, the interview was held somewhere at the foot of Mt Makiling.

Despite the short notice, I was able to hurdle the interview, the questions of which mostly pertain to the why’s and how’s of the campaign. I was speaking on my observation as an Alliance member and a Los Baños resident for eight years now and a witness to the no to plastic initiative. At some point, I injected the Alliance’s position and programs as regards the topic. For instance, as regards the impact, I echoed the belief that the non-plastic efforts are but one aspect of the whole environmental efforts to protect and preserve the environmental and should not be treated as a one-size-fits-all solution. I said that outside Los Baños, there are still larger and serious problems and threats to nature, such as mining, land conversion and development, climate change, among others. I failed to elaborate on the effluents and wastes, in solid or liquid form, coming from the industrial enclaves in Laguna’s 1st District which by the way also constitutes pollution of Laguna Lake. This and the bulk of waste from domestic sources contribute to the further degradation of the lake.

On the success of the campaign, I said that based on observations, it relatively caused behavior change among residents and businesses when it comes to consciousness on non-use of plastics and use of alternative or indigenous materials as containers. However, I reiterated the fact that success rate of the campaign on the long term depends on the will of the local leadership in terms of monitoring and ensuring the efficient implementation of the law. Otherwise, a return to the old ways is not a far possibility.

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