We used to tease a colleague for keeping used plastic bags under her office desk.I take part in the teasing, though I do it as a form of endearment. I, myself, try to keep my plastic bag usage to a minimum. So, to that friend and colleague, you might be interested in this bit of news from our Congress:
Report by Dino Maragay (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com):
MANILA, Philippines – A bill has been filed in Congress seeking to impose an excise tax on plastic bags — with the purpose of discouraging shoppers from using these non-biodegradable packaging materials.
House Bill 4134 pushes for the imposition of a P2.50 excise tax on every plastic bag. According to Rep. Al Bichara, the bill’s author, this will prompt shoppers to opt for environment-friendly alternatives.
“Aside from the fact that plastic bags are made of petrochemicals — a non renewable resource, plastic bags are not biodegradable. A person’s use of plastic bags may be counted in minutes, but plastic bags take between 15 years to 1,000 years to breakdown in the environment,” Bichara said.
Bichara said the excise tax on plastic bags will be funneled to an “environmental protection support fund.” The measure also plans to use the tax to fund anti-pollution projects, and develop eco-friendly waste management and landfill systems.
Under the measure, however, plastic bags used as original packaging of fresh fish and fish products, fresh meat and fresh meat products, fresh poultry and fresh poultry products — as well as plastic bags used to contain fruits, nuts or vegetables, confectionery, dairy products, cooked food, whether cold or hot, or ice — would be exempted.