With the use of face shields no longer required in many places across the country, a House leader has called on concerned local governments to organize a plastics waste drive to help ensure these are properly disposed of.
“We have a mounting waste problem that needs intervention both at the local and national level. The disposal of face shields should be organized so as not to add the problem,” Deputy Majority Leader and Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles said.
The government scrapped the face shield policy on Nov. 15 in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2, and 3. Local governments under Alert Level 4 have the discretion to continue or stop the use of face shields.
Meanwhile, the policy remains in place in hospitals, areas on granular lockdown, and those under the highest Alert Level 5.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources estimates that about 65 million face shields are being used daily in 21.8 million households nationwide.
Nograles urged the agency to take a more aggressive approach to the disposal of face shields.
“We have to provide avenues that the public can access—the onus of disposal, reusing, and recycling should not be placed solely on households,” the lawmaker said.
Nograles suggested to LGUs to explore partnerships with firms that specialize in plastic recycling.
“We have local social enterprises like The Plastic Flamingo (Plaf), for example, which transform plastic waste into sustainable construction materials. This is a good point of convergence for the public and private sector,” Nograles said.
The Plaf, a recycling service founded in 2019, aims to collect 500 metric tons of plastic waste by the end of 2021, and 2,000 tons by 2023, through its network of partnerships within and beyond Metro Manila.
At the barangay level, Nograles added, LGUs could also organize not only collection drives, but lectures on plastics recycling and reuse.