Egay Uy .
OFTENTIMES, what creates a controversy is the lack of knowledge on the part of most of us, laymen. Add to that is the possible gullibility of others.
The more than five thousand tons of waste plastic materials that found their way to the container port in Tagoloan is one example. To a layman like me and most of us, the entry of waste plastic products could harm the environment.
We say this because undeniably we almost always see waste plastic materials literally litter our streets and drainage systems, thanks to undisciplined individuals who wantonly throw garbage anywhere at their convenience. And we have seen how these wastes cause the flooding of our streets, by reason also of probably poorly designed drainage system, or lack of it.
Port officials are quick to defend the entry of the waste plastics as having been sent from South Korea after the documentation requirements from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have been complied with. So, that’s it. It’s legal. What then is the fuss?
We cannot blame those who are sceptical about the issued “clearances.” Not long ago, the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan was the subject of negative reports about missing container vans, all 169 of them, as confirmed by no less than the customs commissioner himself.
Why import waste plastic materials in the first place? Are these of a special kind that is not available from all over our country – streets, esteros, sidewalks, drainage systems, rivers, and all? Aren’t we producing enough plastic waste materials ourselves?
An official of the Phividec Industrial Estate was reported as saying that “the thousands of tons of discarded plastic materials that came from South Korea do not pose any environmental threat and that these enter the local port legally.”
He was also quoted as saying that there was an assurance from the company that’s going to use the waste plastic materials that there would be no hazardous residual by-products, and further justifies the entry of the garbage by the creation of more than 300 jobs in the next six months.
What was not explained was how and why the waste plastic materials in their raw and processed forms, and later after they will have been transformed into finished products, will not cause harm to the environment. We have heard of so many assurances already. Should we now believe this one?
Then again, we have our own garbage – waste plastic materials and all – in case they still don’t know.