Supreme Court: less plastic wrap in 2022

First of all, my hi virus free:

From my green corner on earth where I write, wishes of hope, joy and peace for the New Year. Against all odds, kapit-bisig tayo sa 2022!

And when the monster is finally gone, I will open the doors and step out of my cloister garden. I will rush into the streets to break bread with scoundrels, sages and saints.

* * *

Those of you who have shopped online during the past two years of the pandemic must have noticed the thick bubble wrap protecting your purchases. In the rates and reviews section of shopping apps, many buyers even praise sellers for the secure packaging and post photos and videos of purchases received and mountains of bubble wrap.

We want the “Thank you seller” for bubble wrap now to “Thank you for environmentally friendly packaging”. Better yet if the buyer talks to the seller that less or no plastic is better. Or no plastic spoons, forks, knives and gadgets.

A rosy end to 2021 despite the natural and man-made calamities that have befallen the Philippines is a Supreme Court (SC) ruling aimed at reducing the destructive impact of plastics on the environment that sustains our lives. The main objective of the Kalikasan Ordinance of December 7 and the Mandamus Prosecution Ordinance is the government’s failure to enforce the “environmentally unacceptable products and packaging” (NEAPP) provisions of the Government of Canada. Republic Law No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law of 2000.

Fifty-two civil society petitioners, including Oceana Philippines, based in Quezon City, the Puerto Princesa City Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Davao City Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), and the Philippine Earth Justice Center in Cebu City have traveled to SC to seek a solution to the plastics scourge which is gradually suffocating the environment. The SC has acted positively on their petition.

According to EcoWaste Coalition, Section 29 of RA 9003 requires the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) to prepare a list of environmentally unacceptable products one year after the law comes into force. Section 30 of the Act prohibits commercial establishments from selling or transporting products placed, wrapped or wrapped in environmentally unacceptable packaging after the phase-out period.

EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero was delighted when she heard of the SC’s resolution: “This will accelerate our nation’s quest for a zero waste and toxic free circular economy”.

Comments and praise from warriors for the environment:

Camille Parpan, counsel for the applicants: “[We] welcome and consider the resolution and immediate action of the CS as significant in the imperative fight against the plastic crisis. The issuance of the writs by the SC, and the referral to the Court of Appeal for hearing and receipt of evidence, is an indication that the Court is sticking to its assertive human stewardship of the planet. “

Lawyer Mark Peñalver of IDIS, a Mindanao-based NGO that works for the protection and sustainable management of watersheds in south-central Mindanao: “We have seen how plastic pollution affects our watersheds and our sources of water. water and endanger wildlife and their habitats. IDIS, along with our partners, has successfully lobbied for the regulation of single-use plastics in the city of Davao. However, without clear direction from the national government, there is little that LGUs can do within their authority. “

Petitioner and lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos said the SC resolution “sets a solid foundation and a precedent on which we can build our collective efforts to tackle the plastic crisis”.

Noli Abinales, President of Buklod Tao, Inc .: “If the NSWMC had complied with the requirements of RA 9003 on listing and phasing out NEAPP 20 years ago, our struggle towards a zero waste economy and non-toxic would have been more within our reach.

Sonia Mendoza, President of the Mother Earth Foundation: “We welcome the SC resolution on the groundbreaking plastic pollution lawsuit filed by civil society. We hope this will lead the industry to shift to clean production and a sustainable redesign of products to replace hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing of products and their packaging, so that they can be used, reused or recycled as a whole. completely safe. The publication of the long-awaited NEAPP list will be good for people and the planet, and will pay off for businesses in the long run. We are happy but we must remain vigilant.

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Bryce K. Locke