Plastic ban overlooks real problem | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Some people are complaining that the ban on the use of plastic bags, which many local governments have imposed, is very inconvenient, especially if they have to buy wet stuff like meat, poultry or seafood.


Others worry that the increased use of paper bags, in lieu of plastic, will mean more trees will be cut.


Personally, I am concerned that the ban appears to apply only to big establishments, those that can easily be monitored by law enforcers. While big stores are now wrapping purchases in paper, I see roadside and ambulant vendors still using the clear, thin plastic bags that are clogging our sewers and gutters and choking our rivers and estero.


I still see people allowing vendors to transfer sodas from bottles or cans to plastic bags, despite repeated warnings that the practice is hazardous to health.


I am especially bothered that schools, which supposedly teach environmental protection and resource conservation—in fact, within their premises they practice segregation, designating receptacles for different kinds of garbage—do not seem to mind that plastic bags, cups and other trash litter the area outside their gates. When classes end at a neighboring school, for instance, vendors throng the gates and parents and teachers do not seem to mind that food and beverage are put in plastic containers that are mindlessly thrown on the sidewalks or in the middle of the street.


Perhaps it is true, as someone observed, that Filipinos only care to keep their homes and their backyards clean and could not care less about the rest of their environment. But, as recurring floods have shown us, the trash we carelessly throw outside our premises come back and cause devastation among us, not just the unhappy recipients of our litter.


Actually, I do not mind big establishments using plastic bags because they have invested on biodegradable packaging that completely disintegrates after a while. The bags are also big enough to be reused several times before they completely break down into very tiny pieces.


I would prefer that local governments focus their attention on those small, clear plastic bags and food containers that are more likely to be thrown away carelessly anywhere and everywhere.


Eating right can be fun


Rustan’s Supermarket makes healthy eating fun with its Goodness Gang promotion. Customers can collect stickers that will entitle them to one or several “gang” plush toys by buying certain fruits and vegetables.


Every P300 worth of purchase will entitle them to one sticker. They can exchange 50 stickers for one plush toy or get one with 25 stickers plus P299. Stickers will be issued until Nov. 30 while toys can be redeemed up to Jan. 30, 2014. Available toys are aubergine (eggplant), cherry, banana, garlic, broccoli, carrot, pear and strawberry.


Chewable calcium


People who need to take calcium supplements to prevent problems like osteoporosis (brittle bone) but have difficulty swallowing capsules or pills will be happy to know that the mineral is available in chewable form in caramel and chocolate flavors.


What makes CalChews even better than the usual calcium supplement is that it also contains Vitamins D and K, two nutrients most people hardly get.


Many Filipinos, particularly women, do not get enough calcium because we are not milk drinkers. In fact, many of us suffer from lactose intolerance, developing upset stomachs when we drink milk. This leaves many of us vulnerable to serious bone problems.


Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail

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