December 10, 2020
To reduce plastic wastes in the country, technical education is important to change people’s attitudes toward plastic waste management, officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and National Solid Waste Commission (NSWC) said on Wednesday.
During the “Tackling the Philippine Plastic Problem: A Discussion on Viable Solutions from the Private Sector” forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Geri-Geronimo Sañez, chief of the DENR’s Hazardous Waste Division, highlighted the relevance of prioritizing education as the solution to pollution.
“People are not aware what are the plastic that can be recycled, what can be source of energy or fuel, or what can be source of another products,” Sañez said.
While plastic pollution is now considered one of the largest environmental threats in the world, he said the country’s educational system had not adequately embraced the concept. Teaching the next generation of leaders how to immediately start being the solution is vital to correcting the problem, he added.
The Philippines has generated 111,526,230 tons of solid wastes in 2019, with an average of 44,610 tons daily, according to Crispian Lao, vice chairman of NSWC and founding president of Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Material Sustainability.
In 2015, Sañez said, there were 101 sanitary landfills across the country, but only 13.95 percent of local government units had access to them.
He also said there was a need to put up treatment facilities where communities can properly dispose their household wastes.
“We need to develop hazardous waste management plan…We should recover better, collect, treat and dispose properly,” Sañez added.
“Education is key but you can’t just have education and campaign. You have to put infrastructure… you [need to] put landfills and tell people how to segregate wastes.”
By Eireene Gomez Jairee
Source: The Manila Times