Plastic ban in XU continues implementation in 2020

Photo by Jivi Roy Rizaldo

XU enacted necessary measures in the effort to thoroughly comply with the mandates of Memorandum #U1920-008 titled “Policies and Guidelines on the Prohibition of Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles” implemented in Sept 2019.

The University only has one goal: a zero-waste campus. Starting with the tiniest steps, according to the survey conducted by the office of the Green Campus Agenda (GCA), 99.6 percent of the students in the University are aware of the plastic ban, 98 percent understood the reason behind the ban, 96 percent support the policy, and 98 percent complied to the policy. To help maintain the regulation of the plastic ban, sanctions have been set for both students and faculty who would disobey: a written warning or apology for the first offense, a three-hour community service and formation session for the second offense, and a suspension for the third offense, which is considered as a major offense.

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA), National Service Training Program (NSTP), GCA, and the Basic Education Cluster spearheaded the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign to the XU community. Their campaigns included activities that aimed to educate the community on the hazards posed by plastic pollution and the dangers of reusing plastics designed for single use. They also advocated for the commitment to care for the environment and promoted zero-waste practices.

As of press time, The University is in the middle of eliminating single-use plastic all over the campus. Despite the alternatives provided, like the Bento Box and additional water dispensers, most of the consumable products around the campus require plastic for safe storage. According to the Vice President for Administration (VPA) and GCA head Edison Sasoy, “One of the biggest challenges are [sic] the tarpaulins around the campus.” He added that alternatives would be expensive and hard to find. As recommended by the memorandum, the elimination of tarpaulins should be implemented by the summer of 2020.

Before the plastic ban, the GCA gave everyone a month for adjustment. They disseminated posters regarding the ban and a wastebasket was placed outside the gates of the University for plastic bottles. Students have been encouraged to bring their own water containers and additional water fountains have been planted around the campus. With the help of the Physical Plant Office (PPO) and XU Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (XUCMPC), these fountains’ water potability has been monitored monthly to ensure safe consumption. The VPA and XUCMPC were recommended to gather and suggest further information on good alternatives for bottled drinks. Moreover, The XU Bookstore and the MAGIS Canteen have also been selling tumblers.

The XU Junior High School and XU Grade School campuses have also joined the plastic ban in their school regulations. The same memorandum mentioned the elimination of plastic bags and the alternative usage of reusable bags as demanded by the City.C

Paula Elaine Francisco

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