Biodiversity Management Bureau: Public-business partnership necessary to curb plastic pollution

July 05, 2019

A stronger public-private partnership will help address plastic pollution.

Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Ricardo Calderon has called on the business sector and other stakeholders to work together to find the best solutions to plastic pollution.

Calderon, who is also concurrent secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that plastic pollution  has become one of the most serious threats to the health of oceans and a major hazard to marine biodiversity.

“We urge everyone to join the pledge for our environment; a pledge that will institutionalize our collective and collaborative action towards addressing the issue of marine debris,” Calderon said at the culmination of the Month of the Ocean celebration held recently at The Peninsula Manila, with the theme “Free the Seas from Marine Debris.”

Calderon’s statement was in line with DENR Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s priorcall to the Filipinos to “cut down on the use of plastics that end up in the ocean and pose a threat to marine life.”

“The task of reversing this issue is as big and wide as the ocean, but small actions can make a huge difference,” Cimatu said.

A study conducted by the Ocean Conservancy, a US-based environmental advocacy group, revealed that eight million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year on top of the 150 million tons of plastic that already circulate in the ocean, contributing to loss of species and the contamination of the food chain.

Relatedly, Calderon said that marine plastic pollution is one of the latest and most alarming issues the world is facing with the Philippines as one of the major contributors to global problem, primarily due to its so-called “sachet economy” where companies are selling products in single-used plastic sachets.

While it was easy to resort to banning plastic sachets, Calderon noted that there are “economic implications” to such move that the stakeholders, particularly the government and businesses, should prepare for.

Calderon stressed committing to act on the issue of marine debris will also help prevent other sea animals from ingesting plastic.