This year’s celebration of National Maritime Week is focused on environmental protection, particularly the push to ban the use of single-use plastics in domestic shipping and all ports.
According to Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo, even though single-use plastic is currently banned for their personnel, they cannot impose it on passengers, as a law is needed for its full implementation.
“The PCG, Philippine Ports Authority, and the Maritime Industry Authority are set to sign a Pledge of Commitment to implement the ban on single-use plastic among their personnel. During the International Coastal Cleanup Day last Week, most of the trash picked up were single-use plastics,” Balilo said.
According to CG Commodore Balilo, PCG commandant, CG Admiral Artemio Abu shall direct fellow Coast Guardians to comply with the said order to lessen the negative impact of single-use plastic on the country’s seas.
“We will impose penalties on our personnel who will disobey the directive. We propose this to be part of conversations with passengers, shipping companies, and all maritime stakeholders. We want to teach in the public’s mind the importance of banning single-use plastic,” the Coast Guard spokesperson said.
The PCG, Marina, and PPA shall come together to encourage cooperation and interagency -based regulation among waste contributors and generators through various waste reductions and management techniques, starting from banning single-use plastic within their respective offices.
The single-use plastic items that will be banned include, but are not limited to, plastic cups, drinking straws, plastic coffee stirrers, plastic utensils, sando bags, and plastic wrappers.
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