Domino effect: Water crisis causing more trash, hurting businesses

MANILA, Philippines – The water shortage in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal is increasing demand for disposable products and packaging.

Some restaurants have resorted to using plastic utensils, cups, and paper plates to reduce their water consumption.

Ecowaste Coalition said the domino effect of the water crisis will continue as long as the problem persists.

MORE WASTE. Restaurants resort to using disposable utensils to conserve water. Photo by Wayne Manuel/Rappler

MORE WASTE. Restaurants resort to using disposable utensils to conserve water.

Photo by Wayne Manuel/Rappler

“The increased demand for disposable items during this time of water scarcity will surely add to the volume of residual garbage that generators from households to business establishments churn out every day," said Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator.

As World Consumer Rights Day is set to be observed on Friday, March 15, the group reminded Manila Water and the Philippines' water authorities that access to clean water is a fundamental consumer and human right. (READ: LIST: Manila Water service interruption schedule starting March 14, 15)

"The water shortage, we hope, will be resolved soon to satisfy the people's right to water, a basic consumer and human right, and to discourage the wasteful use of plastic disposables," Lucero said.

Bad for business

Some businesses are also feeling the dry spell.

The Jollibee branch at UP Town Center in Quezon City already apologized for not being able to serve drinks due to the water supply shortage.

Earlier, Jollibee greeted me this way: pic.twitter.com/axHYgUt9OC — JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) March 13, 2019

 

Restaurants in Kapitolyo, Pasig City, are using pricey mineral water to wash dishes.

FEELING THE PINCH. Restaurants in Kapitolyo use mineral water to wash dishes. Photo by Michael Bueza/Rappler

FEELING THE PINCH. Restaurants in Kapitolyo use mineral water to wash dishes.

Photo by Michael Bueza/Rappler

Meanwhile, some malls like Estancia at Capitol Commons, also in Pasig City, have closed some comfort rooms.

NO COMFORT. Estancia mall temporarily closes some of its comfort rooms due to low water supply. Photo by Ralf Rivas/Rappler

NO COMFORT. Estancia mall temporarily closes some of its comfort rooms due to low water supply.

Photo by Ralf Rivas/Rappler

Some affected branches of Anytime Fitness also sent out an advisory to gym members on the likely water service interruption.

– Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

image