PPA: Single-use plastics ban stays

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has reiterated its ban on all single-use plastics at all ports under its jurisdiction as it moves forward to sustainable port operations.

PPA Officer in Charge-General Manager Francisquiel O. Mancile said all port managers across its 25 Port Management Offices must strictly impose the directive embedded under PPA Memorandum Circular No. 11-2021.

He added that this will also go hand in hand with the theme of the 2022 National Maritime Week Celebration: “New Technologies for Greener Shipping.”

“PPA already has an existing ban on single-use plastics. Since last year, we are not only banning the use and entry of such plastics in the ports but also in all facilities and offices under the agency,” Mancile said in a statement.

“While we do not impose any fine or penalty to erring passengers, stakeholders, and employees, we are confiscating these kinds of materials for proper disposal.”

PPA Memorandum Circular No. 11-2021, meanwhile, follows the National Solid Waste Management Commission Resolution No. 1363 dated February 12, 2020 directing a ban on the unnecessary use of single-use plastic products in government agencies and is seen as a major leap to reduce the use of single-plastic items from polluting waterways, kill marine life and further increase the country’s solid waste.

The ban includes plastic cups thinner than 0.2 millimeters, plastic drinking straws, plastic spoons, plastic forks, plastic knives, plastic coffee stirrers, and plastic labo and thinned-filmed sando bags thinner/lighter than 15 microns.

Aside from this, PPA has also earlier partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines on the same initiatives involving three PPA ports—the North Port, Port of Batangas, and Port of Cagayan de Oro—in a bid to reduce plastic leakage at the said ports by 50 percent by 2023.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which are also part of the three-pronged maritime sector of the Department of Transporation, also expressed readiness to impose similar initiatives in their areas of jurisdiction. The PCG said they will levy heavy fines and penalties to their erring personnel who will be found violating the ban. At the same time, the MARINA will look into further strengthening the regulation imposed on local ships.