By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, (PNA) — The better option is for buyers to bring their own eco-bags instead of using those plastic bags available in flea markets around Metro Manila as a group on Sunday detected them to have contained lead.
About 2,300 pieces of plastic yellow bags purchased from wholesalers and retailers in Divisoria, Paco, Quiapo and Sampaloc, Manila exceeded the allowable level of 100 parts per million (ppm) by weight for toxic metals.
According to the EcoWaste Coalition, while these bags are available in other colors, the group limited their sampling to yellow ones as studies abroad indicated lead in such bags due to the use of lead chromate to color plastics.
Aside from lead, which is a potent neurological, reproductive and developmental toxin and an endocrine disrupting chemical, the group also detected other toxic like mercury and chromium.
The 13 brands of yellow plastic sando bags found to contain lead include: Capricorn, Centrum, Cheetah, Mercury, Oriental Star, Pinoy Brothers, Sunshine, Star, Supreme, Swimmer, Unique, White Dove and Winner.
Despite other plastic bags to have zero levels of toxics found in them, the EcoWaste said that any disposable plastic bag for the matter can spawn pollution from production to disposal and reinforce wasteful behavior.
EcoWaste Coalition’s Zero Waste Committee representative, Sonia Mendoza said that the group’s findings confirm that plastic bags represent a real “menace” to human and ecological health.
“The threat comes not only from the huge amount of discarded plastic bags blocking waterways, aggravating floods and choking dumpsites, but also from their toxic chemical ingredients that get dispersed into the environment, contaminating the food chain and, ultimately, our bodies,” Mendoza said.
At present, the group is taking firm action to curb the use and disposal of plastic bags by urging the Manila Mayor Erap Estrada and the government and people of Manila to diminish such a toxic threat to humans and the ecosystems.