Ilocos Norte board goes plastics-free

LAOAG CITY—The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or Provincial Board) has started beating plastic pollution in Ilocos Norte province.

Since Monday, all regular and casual employees under the Office of the Vice Governor and Office of the SP started ditching single-use plastics like straws, polystyrene (Styrofoam), plastic bags, among others, in their work areas.

In support of the “AMBag sa Kalikasan (My contribution to nature), which Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba initiated earlier this year, encourages government employees “to take part in eliminating single-use plastics to create a sustainable work environment in the office and its surroundings”.

In partnership with volunteer young environmentalists from the province, reusable and eco-friendly bags are being distributed in the province’s public markets to lessen the use of plastics and to raise environmental awareness particularly in promoting plastic-free environment.

So instead of serving the usual soft drinks and water in plastic bottles for snacks during regular sessions or meetings, it was observed the SP shifted to glass bottles without straw. Foods served at the session hall were also placed in porcelain plates along with stainless steel spoon and fork. Some were also served in paper food wrap.

In an August 17 memorandum, the Vice Governor acknowledged that the effects of improper disposal of single-use plastic have been a global concern not only for the environment but for humans.

Study shows that around 160,000 plastic bags are used globally every second and the average time that a plastic bag is used is 12 minutes. However, plastics will take between 25 to 450 years to decompose completely.

“Unless a concerted effort to dramatically reduce the production and disposal of single use plastic items, the destruction of Mother Earth is inevitable and this continues to threaten our oceans, wildlife and the next generations,” the Vice Governor added. Leilanie Adriano/PNA –