With the approval of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) Resolution No. 1363, Series of 2020, chaired by no less than DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, it is incumbent upon all national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), and all other government controlled offices to prohibit patronizing the continued use of “unnecessary” single use plastics.

While the Department is tasked to prepare and implement the ban on the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products for all other government entities and institutions under the approved resolution, the Department itself must take the lead in its implementation. At the regional office, we are committed to that,” says Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr.

It is worth noting that the proliferation of single-use plastics has been an increasing threat to the environment, especially to water bodies and marine resources that in effect is also a health hazard. From data gathered by the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution, 80% of land-based sources accounts for the world’s marine pollution and 60% to 95% of the identified wastes are plastic debris.

In February 2019, the DENR Region VIII already took the lead through a memorandum, banning the use of single-use plastics. Said memorandum also encouraged the employees to bring their own reusable plates, utensils, drinking glasses/mugs and reusable food containers when buying food at the canteen or eateries outside the office.

The initiative is mandated by R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 as part of solid waste avoidance and minimization strategy of the Department.

The NSWMC is an inter-agency body under the Office of the President created under R.A, 9003 and is mandated to oversee the implementation of solid waste management plans and prescribe policies to achieve the law’s objectives