ROXAS City (July 30)— The city government wants to reduce, if not totally eliminate, the use of plastic bags and polystyrene foams as packing materials in stores.
City Ordinance No. 030-2011, authored by Councilor Powell del Rosario, prohibits business establishments or individuals from selling or providing plastic bags as packing materials to consumers during Wednesdays.
Instead, business establishments or individuals are encouraged to use alternative packing materials such as woven bags or bayong, cloth or paper bags, and other similar materials, promoting the Bring Your Own Bag Program (BYOBP).
The Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved the ordinance on June 28, 2011.
Individual violators will be meted with the following penalties:
* first offense – P500
* second offense – P1,000; and
* third offense – P2,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than six months upon the discretion of the court.
The same penalties apply to business establishments except that the penalty on third offense may include the cancellation of license to operate for a year.
Despite the city government’s campaign on the reduced use of plastic bags, such packing material is still rampantly used in the city.
A total of 25 tons of plastic waste materials are being collected from this city everyday, records from the Task Force on Environmental Protection showed.
There is now a need to regulate the use of plastic bags to prevent clogging in the city’s canals, creeks, rivers and other waterways, said Del Rosario, chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection.
Meanwhile, the City Health Sanitary Department and the Task Force on Environmental Protection were mandated to study the feasibility of providing alternative receptacles for products./PN