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IDIS: URC top plastic waste contributor in watershed

DAVAO City-based environmental group revealed Universal Robina Corporation topped the 10 brands considered the biggest contributors to plastic waste in the Panigan-Tamugan watershed. 

Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) posted on social media on Thursday, May 30, the results of its October-December 2023 Waste and Brand Audit.

The brand audit is one of the initiatives of IDIS to document the brands found on plastic waste collected during cleanup to identify which brands are the greatest contributors to plastic waste and reveal the impact of the throwaway plastic business model.

IDIS reported that commonly found plastics include small to medium-sized food packaging sachets, as well as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and bottle caps which are common single-use plastics.

The results showed that Dabawenyos still patronized single-use plastics, designed to be discarded right after use even with the passage of City Ordinance no. 0500-21 series of 2021.

The ordinance also known as the “No to Single-Use Plastics Ordinance of 2021” was signed by the former city mayor now Vice President of the Philippines Sara Duterte to restrict the use of single-use plastics.

Along with Bantay Bukid Volunteers, they identified 124 pieces of plastic from Universal Robina Corporations; 101 Liwayway Holdings Company Limited; 90 W.L. Food Products; 88 Coca-Cola Company; 62 JBC Food Corporation; 47 Prifood Corporation; 40 Republic Biscuit Corporation; 36 NutriAsia, Inc.; 34 Philippine Spring Water Resources, Inc; and 33 Regal International Snack Food Corp. 

According to IDIS, the results showed the extent of plastic pollution in the critically protected area.

IDIS stressed that microplastics can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other nearby water sources and affect the ecosystem, citing the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

“Since the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed is currently Davao City’s source of drinking water, plastic waste contamination is highly toxic to human health,” IDIS added.

The environmentalist group called to hold the companies accountable and enforce the utilization of eco-friendly and alternative packaging materials to prevent environmental degradation. 

Atty. Mark Peñalver, IDIS director previously called on the city government for stricter implementation of solid waste management ordinances and the creation of more operational Materials Recovery Facilities.

These initiatives, Peñalver said must be adopted as they are cost-efficient and can potentially resolve waste problems.



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