Domestic plastics manufacturers are seeking urgent collaboration with the government to curb plastic wastes.

In a statement, Philippine Plastics Industry Association (PPIA) President Danny Ngo cited the need to come up with a policy amongst stakeholders towards realizing a circular economy on plastic wastes.

Ngo made this appeal in response to the overwhelming international and local clamor to urgently solve plastic wastes.

He noted that whatever the reasons for the massive plastic wastes, banning the use of plastic packaging products is not a true solution to this problem. Rather, Ngo said, it would only lead to an adverse impact on the society, the national economy, and much more on the environment.

Go has proposed that government and corporate environmental stewards must fully embrace the common goals of the interrelated 4 R principles: reuse, reduce, recover and recycle.

The 4R underscores the pressing need for stakeholders’ efforts to coordinate and collaborate in focusing plastic waste flow into the circular economy, matching up with the local and worldwide supply and demand of recycled plastic products to truly realize success.

“We must literally begin from the land base upstream sources in preventing leakages to avoid ocean plastic, and do more in recovering plastic already in the water bodies to form part of our recycling feedstock,” he added.

Ngo further cited India, which has considered the risk of a blanket ban on single-use plastics. “The Modi government knows that this will detrimentally impact jobs with triggering effects on their economy as longer economic slowdown and rising unemployment are expected in their country amidst the global pandemic,” Ngo said.

He further said that even first-world countries like the United States, Japan, and many parts of Europe are still considered sachet-oriented economies. “They maintain their use for single-use plastic packaging is the most hygienic, safest, shelf life-prolonging, and thereby saving valuable resources. However, most developed nations have adequate handling of plastic wastes,” he said.

In contrast, developing countries like the Philippines are hampered by the lack of proper disposal facilities and infrastructure and logistical problems in transporting plastic wastes from areas where mismanagement reigns to places where they can find a new life into sustainable products.

Subsequently, he said, consumers are increasingly factor sustainability into their purchase decisions, further pressuring brands in generating momentum and support for change.

According to Ngo, initiatives to collect and recycle particularly ocean-bound plastics should be pursued. “This demonstrates the needed path towards recycling waste plastics into a valuable commodity,” he added.

He further said that initiatives should go beyond turning plastic wastes into reusable feedstock.

“The best we could do he said is supporting and not canceling out each other guided by a policy direction on how we can each contribute to grow and prosper towards the redemption from past mistakes. Organizations and efforts must be synchronized and complemented with each other via efficiency and teamwork to maximize positive impact rather than duplicating and paralleling endeavors,” he said.

Ngo even reiterated its earlier warning that a phase out policy in the use of plastic packaging is a risky policy direction. He said this could lead to possible closure of 23,150 enterprises producing and layoff of 343,262 affected workers.

This would translate in national economic loss of about P1.79 trillion, he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (