Duterte raises concern: Plastic waste on the rise due to pandemic

Published June 7, 2021, 9:59 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has called for the proper disposal of garbage, including medical waste, after observing the rise in plastic pollution during the coronavirus pandemic.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a public address from Davao City (Photo/Office of Sen.Go)

The President sought to raise awareness against plastic and medical waste following the observance of the World Environment Day on June 5.

“The global community celebrated World Environment Day to promote greater commitment to care our planet. Sadly, however, the COVID-19 crisis has also given rise to plastic waste,” he said in a televised address Monday, June 7.

“The popularity of delivery of services has produced considerable solid waste such as delivery of packaging of both food and non-food products,” he said.

Duterte also raised concern about the increase in medical waste as the nation battles the pandemic, saying such garbage must be properly disposed.

“A serious concern is the proper disposal of medical waste. There have been several reports of poor disposal,” he said.

Duterte, a former mayor of Davao City, recalled that medical waste was once buried in a beach, which he claimed was “not the proper way.”

“You might as well as wait for the garbage men to lock the garbage. Balutin ninyo ang mga medisina, ‘yung naturok at saka mga syringe, balutin ninyo at ibigay ninyo sa basurero. Alam nila ano gagawin nila (Collect the medical waste, including the syringe, and give them to the garbage men. They know what to do),” he said.

READ: Medical, plastic waste becoming a bigger problem in PH

A waste management firm Metro Clark Waste Management (MCWM) recently called for a strategic and efficient waste management program as the country faced rising medical and plastic waste. The group made the pitch to ensure public health as medical waste such as face masks, shields, syringes, and personal protective equipment continued to pile up in the country.