Monday, March 31, 2014

Developing countries lead ban of plastic bags, will advanced countries follow?

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

Plastics are the Number One waste in modern life. They are the most extravagantly used everyday item in households and establishments. They come in cheap, easy and convenient. Yet plastics can outlive a generation, two or three. Scientists predict the life span of some plastics with the life of the earth.

Plastics are culprits of flooding, asphyxiation of fish and children, allergy and asthma, cancer and plasticosis, hormone imbalance leading to birth defects and third sex, species extinction. There are more plastics fished from the sea than fish.

Plastic bags may help maintain the freshness of vegetables, but only for some time because heat builds up and moisture is trapped that favors fungi and bacteria that cause deterioration, and decay.  

Sling plastic bag is practical and durable.  It is ideal for fruits and vegetables, and dry goods, too.  
It is convenient to use in the market, office, school and the like. 

There are specific uses of plastic such as in keeping food in the freezer. It is recommended however, that instead of using plastic bags, covered trays be used instead.

Plastic bags are now outlawed, starting in the "Third World" and creeping slowly to advanced countries. Now, this is a new twist. Take a look at these pioneers.
  • Philippines (Lucban, Quezon 2008; Muntinlupa, Metro Manila 2011)
  • India (New Delhi 2009; Mumbai, Pradesh 2003, Karwar 2010, Tirumala and Rajasthan 2010)
  • Bangladesh (Dhaka, 2003)
  • South Africa, 2003
  • Rwanda, 2005
  • Zanzibar, 2006
  • Tanzania, 2006
  • USA (San Francisco, 2006)
  • Great Britain (Modbury, 2007
  • China, 2008
  • Mexico, 2009
  • Burma (Rangoon, 2009)
  • Italy, 2011
Countries that ban and/or tax plastic bags are Ireland 2002, Belgium 2007, New Zealand 2009, Kenya 2007, Uganda 2007.

There are more and more supermarkets, school campuses, offices, and communities that ban plastic bags. If your school and community have not joined the plastic-bag ban, initiate the movement. Take a look at these activities.

1. Checkpoint at the school gate. No Styropore/stryrofoam for pack foods.
2. Plastic bottles bin for immediate collection to delivery to recycling plant.
3. Recycle plastics and non-biodegradable materials, like bayong (bulk bag from tetra packs, see in this Blog)
4. No burning of plastic materials policy; the smoke contains dioxin, carcinogenic and the most poisonous substance on earth. Fumes are more poisonous than cyanide.
5. Plant-based substitutes from pandan (Lucban, Quezon), buri, nipa, anahaw, coconut leaves, banana stalk, etc.
6. Encourage local industries using environment-friendly substitutes, like subsidy and awards.

Lastly, and the most practical, bring your own container: glass bottles, canisters, glazed jars, green bags, etc.

Congratulations and acknowledgement: City of Muntinlupa, Philippine Daily Inquirer January 30, 2011

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