Business Mirror - Let ‘bayong’ be our ecological weapon of choice–Bongbong

18 August 2011

By Butch Fernandez | Business Mirror

businessMirrorSEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is encouraging consumers to switch to bayong or buri bags that our elders were accustomed to before society started using the ubiquitous but ecologically destructive plastic bags.

Marcos is eyeing a bill granting discounts to consumers who bring their own bayong to the supermarket as a way to discourage the use of plastic bags and save the further degradation of the environment.

“Maybe this is something we could incorporate into an actual law. In my experience, when I see this kind of scheme being implemented in a grocery store or supermarket abroad, it seems to be effective. The other option available to us is to regulate the use of plastic bags,” he explained

Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, added that ordinary consumers will be encouraged to bring their own bayong so they can save some amount while buying goods at the supermarket, grocery stores and department and retail stores.

“I think most consumers would like to do something good for the environment. One of the schemes that I have seen abroad is if you ask for a plastic bag, you will pay for it. But if you bring your own loot bag, you will get a discount. The matter of environment did not become a political issue until it became an economic one. In that way, we are bringing the issue into the economic sphere,” Marcos stressed.

Earlier, environmentalists have been pushing for the use of bayong as a “weapon” to fight the adverse effects of global warming in the country.

The bayong, a hand-woven native bag made of buri palm leaves or other locally available plant materials, should be considered as the “ecological weapon of choice” by Filipino consumers, Marcos stressed.

Government data indicate that plastic comprises 15 percent of Metro Manila’s solid waste, with food and kitchen waste accounting for about 45 percent, paper 16 percent, glass and wood 9 percent and other discards 15 percent.

“Let the bayong be our ecological weapon of choice as citizens, while we ask our political leaders to initiate even bolder measures, globally and locally, to fight climate change,” he added.