Ban single-use plastics in Manila! #MakeManilaPlasticFree

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The Philippines is the third largest contributor of plastic waste in the world’s oceans¹, with Metro Manila alone producing around one-fourth (1/4) of daily waste in the country². In Metro Manila, only eighty-five percent (85%) of solid waste is collected³—the remaining fifteen percent (15%) presumably enters nearby water systems such as Manila Bay⁴. With the City of Manila being the second largest producer of waste in the region⁵, it is to no surprise that Manila Bay continues to be polluted with plastic⁶.

Banning plastics has been recognized by the United Nations as an effective measure against plastic waste⁷. In Metro Manila, there are currently seven cities that have implemented ordinances banning single-use plastics: Las Piñas⁸, Makati⁹, Muntinlupa¹⁰, Parañaque¹¹, Pasay¹², Pasig¹³, and Quezon City¹⁴. Unknown to most, Manila has Ordinance No. 8282 which was ratified in September 2012 to ban the use of plastic bags for dry products and regulate their use for wet goods¹⁵. Almost eight years later since its ratification, the ordinance sadly remains unrevised and unimplemented, and no significant concrete steps have been taken to mitigate the problem of plastic waste that has plagued Manila for decades¹⁶.

Having recognized the importance of a swift and enthusiastic response to reduce the environmental impact of the city, this petition demands that:

(1) the City Council of Manila amend and expand Ordinance No. 8282 to encompass single-use plastics, and impose heavier legal consequences;

(2) the ordinance and any amendments to it be strictly implemented by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Manila; and

(3) all residential and commercial establishments within the City of Manila observe and uphold the ordinance in all transactions and activities.

The problem of plastic pollution—as well as the climate emergency—can only be addressed through systemic change. The enforcement of a comprehensive plastic ban in the City of Manila is certainly an integral step towards solving said problems and ensuring a future for later generations.