A week before a meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly, findings for a five-year audit were released by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (Gaia). The findings were described as an environmental nightmare. Evident in the report, pollution caused by a high number of plastic waste has increased exponentially.
In a report done by an environmentalist group, it was revealed that in the Philippines, over 163 million plastic sachets were being thrown out on a daily basis. To add to the horror, Filipinos also toss out 45 million thin-film bags, over three million diapers, and about 48 million plastic shopping bags every day. This puts a yearly count of 163 thin-film plastic bags, 591 pieces of plastic sachets, and 174 shopping bags being used and thrown out by only one Filipino.
The audit has also shown that "branded" plastic waste reach to about 54% of the total residual waste. Froilan Grate, executive director of Gaia Asia-Pacific, appeals for less production of plastic especially those that can be used only once. Mother Earth Foundation chair Sonia Mendoza has reminded local governments about their mandatory tasks to handle solid waste management in their respective areas. This is in reference to the country's Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as the Solid Waste Management Act. Mendoza suggested using the data in the reports to regulate the public's use of plastic. The MEF chair has also urged local governments to oblige companies to take responsibility for their excessive production of single-use plastic and to act on it.
The purpose of the report was to make sure the public understands how the problem concerning plastic pollution is greatly affected by the role of manufacturers. In the production of their merchandise, single-use plastic is the main players for their chosen material for packaging. This is further emphasized by Von Hernandez, Break Free From Plastic national coordinator. In his statement, he pointed out that while manufacturers attack the government for improper waste management and highlight the lack of discipline among the Filipino citizens, these manufacturers themselves are the ones behind the production of single-use plastics.
The results of the study have prompted an appeal for the Philippine government to require manufacturers to opt for better packaging material and regulate single-use plastic production.
Efforts of the government to manage waste in the country are acknowledged as over half of the Philippines' waste were audited as organic in nature. This result has affirmed the country's organic waste management as a strategy to reduce waste.