Some single-used plastics are now prohibited in the office premises of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office in the Diosdado Macapagal Goverment Center, after being banned last week by its environment official to reduce waste generation and protect the region's river systems against plastic pollution.
In his memorandum, Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR in Central Luzon, stated that employees and food service providers would be strictly prohibited from using plastic bottles, cups, straws, cutlery, thin-filmed sando bags, styrofoam, and plastic take-out containers.
"We consider this initiative as a big leap in our fight against plastic pollution, which poses danger to the environment and hampers the fulfillment of cleaning our water bodies, specifically those that drain to Manila Bay," Moreno said.
A "no baonan, no food" policy would be likewise imposed in the DENR regional office, where bringing of individual food containers and eco-bags would be mandatory among employees before buying food and goods from the canteen.
Moreno said that during in-house meetings and trainings in the regional office, participants would be required to bring their own tumblers, while caterers would be advised to provide water dispenser and drinking glasses.
"We hope that this practice would be adopted by all regional agencies here in the government center including the local government units to create a big impact in saving our environment," he added.
According to studies, around 2.7 million tons of plastic waste are generated in the Philippines each year, 20% of which is estimated to end up in the ocean.
In Central Luzon, a large volume of collected wastes from cleanup activities are made up of single-used plastics, such as plastic bags, bottles, straws, and food wrappers.