A majority of Filipinos support a national ban on single-use plastic, according to the Social Weather Stations.
Commissioned by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), the survey showed 71 percent of respondents want plastics banned at all times while 10 percent said consumers who use plastics should pay extra.
The survey was conducted by the SWS from September 27 to 30 last year among 1,800 adults.
When asked which single use plastics should be banned, respondents chose sando bags (71 percent), plastic straws and stirrers (66 percent), plastic “labo” bags (65 percent), Styrofoam or polystyrene food containers (64 percent), sachets (60 percent), carton packaging or doypack for processed drinks (59 percent), plastic drinking cups (56 percent), utensils (54 percent), plastic juice bottles (49 percent) and plastic water bottles (41 percent).
Six out of 10 respondents also said they are willing to buy condiments in recyclable or refillable containers instead of sachets. Meanwhile, 4 out of 10 said they believe that companies should find alternative materials to plastic.
“The message to political leaders and business is clear: Filipinos reject single-use plastics. By supporting a ban on SUPs, the Filipino consumer is also sending a message to the plastic industry and manufacturers that plastic pollution and throwaway systems are no longer acceptable,” Beau Baconguis, Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) Asia-Pacific coordinator, said in a statement.
The GAIA said more than 120 countries already have regulatory measures on single-use plastic, including Bangladesh, Thailand and China. In the Philippines, several cities in Metro Manila have also started regulating plastic use. These are Muntinlupa, Pasig, Makati, Las Pinas, Pasay and Paranaque.
The survey also showed that those who are willing to buy food condiments in refillable containers are those from Class E at 73 percent.
“The results of the survey puts into question the common excuse from the big companies that sachets are pro-poor,” Froilan Grate, GAIA Philippines Executive Director, said in a statement. “Sachets and other SUPs are not pro-poor. People buy in sachets because an alternative distribution or packaging systems are not being made available by multinational companies.”
Ecowaste Coalition, another member of the GAIA, said the fastest way to ban plastics nationwide is to have a law. “The government needs to pass a law banning single-use plastics. We cannot afford any more excuses and delays!” said Patricia Nicdao, Ecowaste Coalition policy and advocacy officer.
Besides instituting a nationwide ban on plastic bags, the groups called for phasing out sachets and creating a program that will hold companies responsible for their plastic packaging.