ASEAN region joins movement to cut plastic waste
ASEAN Member States (AMS), which includes the Philippines, have joined movement to reduce plastic waste in the region, a move that was announced by ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Executive Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim.
“The Centre joins the movement against the use of plastics, and supports the Member States’ initiatives in banning plastic use, and strictly implementing waste management laws and policies,” Lim said.
Lim said that the home of ACB, which is Los Baños, Laguna, is the first ever municipality in the Philippines that regulated the use of plastic bags through Municipal Ordinance No. 2008-752.
Now, the town also prohibits the use of plastic straws, plastic cups, and plates through Municipal Ordinance No. 2014-1316, The Expanded Plastic Ordinance of the Municipality of Los Baños.
“These conservation efforts are being replicated by other towns and cities in the country,” she further said.
For its part, Brunei Darussalam aims to stop the use of plastic bags in supermarkets by 2019, and shoppers are encouraged to use reusable eco-friendly bags for grocery shopping.
Major supermarkets, which joined the Beat Plastic Pollution initiative ,are also considering it to be part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In Cambodia, major supermarkets charge KHR 400 (USD 0.10) per plastic bag to reduce its wasteful use.
Lao PDR also encourages the public to use recyclable bags which are being sold in downtown cafes and markets.
Right now, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Indonesia also implement bans and taxes on the use of plastic bags.
In Singapore, one of the world’s giant players in the fast food chain industry, banned plastics (i.e., plastic lids and straws) for dine-in customers in June.
A line of mini-marts and convenience stores in Thailand with 11,000 operating stores likewise implements the “Say No to Plastic Bag” campaign to uphold policies in line with the international environmental standards.
This, as Thailand government’s national agenda primarily aims to promote the importance of reducing the number of plastic bags to lessen the harmful effects to our environment.
Large businesses and enterprises in Vietnam, on the other hand, introduced eco-friendly bags for shoppers, and the government imposes environment tax on plastic bags, which is VND 40,000 (USD 1.76) per kilogram.