Ilocos Ministry of Health bans single-use plastics in healthcare facilities

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte—The Ilocos Department of Health (DOH) has begun phased implementation of a ban on single-use plastics at its hospitals and other area health facilities and offices.

In a March 11 memorandum, Regional Manager Paula Paz Sydiongco said the move was in line with the 2020 resolution of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ National Solid Waste Commission.

The ban will prohibit the use of plastic cups (less than 0.2 millimeters thick), plastic straws, plastic coffee stirrers, plastic spoons, plastic knives, plastic lab and thin film sandbags of less than 15 microns in these installations.

Sydiongco said all relevant staff, visitors and customers at hospitals and offices under the health agency are prohibited from using the plastics.

The DOH has initiated three phases of implementation of single-use plastics. The first phase started on January 1 this year, covering hospital and office staff and visitors.

The second phase will start on July 1 for healthcare workers, while the last phase will take place on January 1 next year, which will include the banning of patients, including their visitors, relatives, companions and other customers, to use single-use plastics.

The phased approach to implementing the ban must be done due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the public has resorted to single-use materials as a means of “infection prevention and control”.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said “mitigating the unnecessary use of single-use plastics saves the cost of [hospital] services and also promotes sustainable waste management in healthcare facilities.


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