By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY –The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has banned the use of non-biodegradable single-use plastics and polystyrene containers in restaurants and shops inside the facility.
GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), the airport operator, announced that the ban covers establishments in Terminals 1 and 2, and urged the concessionaires to switch to eco-friendly and reusable substitutes.
GMCAC Chief Executive advisor Andrew Harrison said the ban was in line with its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Harrison said 80 percent of the concessionaires are already using biodegradable alternatives such as plant starch utensils, paper cups and straws, wood stirrers, paper bags, and carton boxes for takeaway food.
“In 2018, MCIA produced a monthly average of 3,500-kilograms of plastic waste from its restaurants and shops. This is now down by close to 30 percent or a decrease of around 12,000-kgs per year,” he noted.
Since August 2017, 6,300 solar panels have been installed on the roof of Terminal 1 to supply electricity for the airport, making MCIA the first solar-powered airport in the Philippines.
On a monthly average, the solar panel system produces 196,800 Kwh or 30 percent of the electricity requirements of the domestic terminal.
To sustain its green-airport program, GMCAC holds regular information and education campaigns for all airport concessionaires and stakeholders to raise awareness on the impacts of plastic use on the environment.