Food packages, single-use plastics pollute Davao City water source

Oct. 06, 2020

IDIS together with volunteers, barangay officials and residents of Tawan-tawan partake a clean-up drive at the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed in Baguio District, as part of the global #BrandAudit2020 initiated by the Break Free From Plastic campaign. (Photo courtesy of IDIS)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A cleanup in one of Davao City’s potable water source revealed thousands of single-use food packages, sachets and bottles of house items have been dumped in the area.

The Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDS) revealed they picked up 1,713 pieces of various solid wastes during their clean-up drive and brand audit at the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed in Baguio District Last September 26.

Two-thirds or 67% of what they collected were food wraps and packages; while 12% were detergent, shampoo, and chemical sachets/pouch; 10% plastic bottles and cups; and the rest include cans, sanitary napkins, diapers, cigarette butts, plastic bags, glass bottles, gloves, face masks, slippers, straws, and others.

The top brands found during the waste brand audit are Rebisco Foods where they collected 220 pieces; followed by W.L. Foods with 131; Universal Robina Corporation with 120; Coca-Cola with 108; Nestle with 95; NutriAsia with 81; Oishi, Regent, Unilever, 65 each; and Monde Nissin Corporation with 62.

A few of these wastes came from products such as Proctor & Gamble, Zest-O, Colgate-Palmolive, Philip Morris, San Miguel Corp, Selecta, Johnson & Johnson.

“The result of this brand audit shows that there is an alarming increase of wastes in one of the most important watersheds in Davao City, the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed,” IDIS executive director Chinkie Pelino-Golle said.

She explained that this brand audit will be used “for holding consumer good companies accountable for their role in the global plastic waste problem.”

IDIS called the attention of the companies to shift to alternative materials that are biodegradable and to consider bulk-selling such as refilling stations or refilling sari-sari stores.

Golle also urged the city government to fully implement the Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance. “We urge the local government authorities to enforce regulations and ensure proper waste management in the area but most importantly, we urge for the enactment and implementation of environmental policies.”

She added that these policies could help in addressing the waste concerns not just in Panigan-Tamugan Watershed but in the whole area of Davao City.

The environment group also urged the public to properly dispose of their garbage and avoid using single-use plastics.

IDIS has been campaigning for the protection of watershed area such as the Panigan-Tamugan which is an excellent source of potable water.

This watershed is also being tapped as the next water source for the city through the P12-billion Davao City Bulk Water Supply project of the Apo Agua Infrastructura, a joint development of the Aboitiz Equity Ventures and JV Angeles Construction expected to be completed in 2021. (

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