1st Consumer Youth e-Forum with the National Youth Commission
2021: Tackling Plastic Pollution
Takeaways on 1st Consumer Youth e-Forum – Tackling Plastic Pollution
As part of the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2021, the DTI-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) teams up with the National Youth Commission (NYC) in encouraging the youth to be proactive in addressing the worsening global plastic pollution.
No to plastics
The world is transcending, evolving, changing… It’s never been too early or too late, to begin this journey of doing your part in preserving the environment.
How long does plastic take to decompose?
Styrofoam – forever
Plastic bottle – 450 years
Plastic straw – 200 years
Plastic cutlery – 100+ years
Plastic bag – 20 years
Coffee cup – 30 years
Cigarette filter – 10 years
What you need to know
- 40% of plastic produced is packaging and discarded after one use.
- Single-use plastics account for 50% of the plastic produced every year.
- An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year.
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.
7 R’s of Sustainability
- Recycle. Demand better access to waste infrastructure and collection
- Reuse. Repurpose a plastic item to extend its lifetime
- Reduce. Reduce your plastic footprints by using reusable products
- Replace. Replace single-use plastic items with reusable products
- Refuse. Say no to disposable cups; bring your own mug instead
- Repair. Repair broken or damaged items to limit waste
- Rethink. Buying “naked” or unpacked goods
Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda presentation
- We are the world’s worst plastic polluters; at the same time, we are among those most vulnerable to the severe consequences of the unbridled production, thoughtless consumption, and wanton disposal of plastics.
- We produced about 300 million tons of plastic waste every year – which is nearly the same weight of the entire human population. But only 9% of the world’s plastic waste has ever been recycled; most of it just ends up in dumps, landfills, or the environment.
- Plastic is so pervasive and so convenient that sometimes it can be difficult to stay conscious of its consequences. And given how single-use plastics remain the cornerstone of a sachet economy that remains firmly in place here in the Philippines, for many it could be even harder to imagine an alternative, a different way to live.
- The fresh perspective, the energy, the innovative actions that only the young people like you can bring might be exactly what we need to break the cycle of unsustainability by changing long-standing behaviors and patterns of consumption, systems of production, and ways of living.
- The consequences, as you know, include its effects on the environment.
- The report warns that if this continues, our oceans would have more plastic than fish by 2050. That is not too far away – that is the world where you will be raising your own children.
- Despite having one of the best and most eco-friendly solid waste management laws, we still ranked third among the countries with the highest source of plastic ocean pollution
- Younger people are more exposed to environmental education, and they have better means of accessing and sharing information about the environment. Studies have also shown that Millennials and Gen Z are more responsible and sustainable consumers than their elders – not just seeking sustainable products and brands, but actually being willing to pay more for them.
- The challenge for you now is to pull together more of your fellow young Filipinos to make sure your actions can have a wider reach and a greater impact.
Youth’s role in addressing the environmental issues
It encourages everyone to be proactive. The youth entrepreneurs and non- entrepreneurs must stop using plastic. They must adapt and support the use of eco-bags when doing grocery or shopping to mitigate the use of plastic. By being proactive, young business owners find solutions, not just ideas on how to mitigate the problem. Sustain the continuous efforts by:
- supporting green programs of the government,
- implementing programs on waste inventory system of the community and at every households prioritize the environment above profits,
- by supporting other businesses that discourage the use of plastic,
- information and educational campaigns on environmental issues,
- advocate the reuse/refill system as an alternative refilling system that would lobby to the retailers and stores,
- organize or participate on global coastal clean-up drive,
- develop waste segregation and audit,
- Support local ordinances prohibiting the use of plastics in dry goods and regulating utilization on wet goods, and prohibiting the use of Styrofoam,
- enforce regulation on single-use plastics,
- banned the use of plastic bags,
- advocate the use of woven or native bags (bayong), cloth bags (katsa), and paper bags
- Formulate policies on waste management.
Being a young consumer, what environmental initiatives and programs will you practice at home? Based on the survey conducted via Menti.com :
Stricter law on plastic use
Say no to plastic cutlery
Reduce the use of plastic
Reuse plastic container
Practice the 7 R’s
Educate the family
Br proactive as a youth
Reduce usage of plastic
Save our environment
Always bring ecobag
Be committed to garbage segregation
Yes to reusable tumblers
No to straw
The forum laid out the worsening effect of plastics on the environment. They say children listen, they ask what is right and wrong. Today is the right time to educate the young how to preserve the space they live in and protect it for the future generations. Filipino youth can tip the balance in favor of a safer, greener world where everyone shall have the opportunity to live and work in areas that are not threatening to their health and life.
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG)
National Youth Commission (NYC)
Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Representative – Lone District of Antique
Antoinette Taus, Founder, Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA), Inc.
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