The town site of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) in Rio Tuba, Bataraza is officially saying no to plastic bags and other forms of disposables as the mining company rolls out its policy against the use and sale of plastic bags and similar forms of packaging in the area.
RTNMC’s memorandum, which took effect this August 1, has officially banned the use and sale of sando bags, styrofoam, and disposable utensils as packaging materials in the town site’s markets, restaurants, sari–sari stores, canteens, and other shops. Business establishments are now to use paper bags and allowable containers in packaging their products, while shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bayong, net bags or baskets.
The No to Plastic Policy is part of the company’s commitment to maintain high standards of pollution prevention practices and compliance to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
According to Crisbelle Ubugan, environmental compliance officer of the company’s Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement Department (MEPED), the policy was shaped by the prevalent use of plastics as packaging materials in the town site. She said the company intends to minimize the use of plastic bags and similar materials due to their negative environmental impact.
“Kaya gumawa ang RTNMC management thru the Pollution Control Office ng No to Plastic Policy para at least ma-minimize ‘yung usage ng plastic at ma-prevent natin ‘yung soil and water degradation. Kasi plastic is one factor that causes soil and water degradation kaya gumawa ‘yung management ng paraan to lessen the adverse effect of plastic,” Ubugan said.
Engr. Carmelita Catacutan, manager of MEPED, said the present policy is a reiteration of existing ones which similarly aimed to minimize the use of plastics.
“It’s more on prevention yung ginagawa natin. ‘Wag nang gumamit at syempre kung hindi na gagamit wala nang itatapon,” she said.