Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said his department will recycle the black plastic bags used
in potting seedlings to cut the cost of implementing the National Greening Program (NGP).
“With 1.5 billion seedlings to be raised from 2011 and 2016, we are looking at a cost of P750 million for plastic bags alone… But with recycling, the cost for plastic bags will be reduced by at least half,” said Paje.
Paje added the measure will also demonstrate the administration’s commitment to reduce the potential impact of plastic bags on the environment.
The environment chief cited as an example the recent NGP tree planting activity held at the foot of Mount Banahaw in Sariaya, Quezon, where he led the planting of 20,000 tree seedlings.
According to Paje, he observed that many of the volunteers removed the planting medium from the plastic bag “with ease and efficiency.”
“By adopting the ‘squeeze-and-hold method’, the volunteers were able to remove the seedlings from the plastic bags with ease and efficiency,” he said.
“Squeeze-and-hold” is a method whereby the soil around the seedling base is gently squeezed, thus, compacting it, and then the base is carefully pushed upward.
Paje advised, however, that care should be taken by the planter in removing the seedling from the plastic bag so as not to disturb the root system.
Source : www.sunstar.com.ph