Banning single-use plastics in BARMM complex is laudable

Who does not need plastics?  We use plastics extensively.  At home, we have plastic tables, chairs, stools, among other things. Our computers, televisions and mobile phones contain plastic parts.  They are ubiquitous and indispensable. 

Useful as they are, these plastics pose environmental challenges as they are non-biodegradable. It is for this reason that some countries, cities and towns ban, or at least, strictly regulate the use of single-use plastics.

In September 2018, Dr. Bradnee Chambers, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species, in his ‘The Planet's Pernicious Plastic Plague Peril, wrote:

“Some countries are acting: Kenya has introduced a total ban on plastic bags, while in the UK the leading supermarket chains have made a pledge to reduce plastic packaging. And just last month, the European Union announced that it was joining the fray by prohibiting a range of plastic products for which greener alternatives exist.”

Meanwhile, Ahod B. Ebrahim, the Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim (BARMM), issued Memorandum Order dated June 17, 2019 declaring ‘as a policy to ban single-use plastics in all offices of the BARMM effective immediately.’  The Memorandum Order was premised on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Government’s being ‘mindful of its role and mandate to protect the environment and promote the right of the people to a balance and healthful ecology.’

“Single-use plastics such as plastic bags, straws, cups, plates, spoon and forks, polystyrene (such as styrofoam) containers and similar items are no longer allowed in all offices of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” Ebrahim said in the Memorandum Order.

“Food concessionaires/caterers are also advised to place food in containers either made of paper, plant-based wrappers or reusable plastic containers,” Ebrahim said.

Ebrahim enjoined all officials and employees to use reusable containers, tumblers, mugs and/or biodegradable food packs.

The Interim Chief Minister tasked the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE)-BARMM to supervise the effective implementation of the Order.

This way the BARMM can help mitigate the pernicious impact of single-use plastics on human lives and the environment.  It is a laudable move.