City Administrator Byron San Pedro said the measure was decided on as the city government observed that canteens and other small-scale food vendors were still using plastic bags for customers who buy and take out food from them.
“Our anti-plastic policy only allows the use of plastic bags as packaging for wet goods, but canteens and carinderias have continued to use them for take-out food,” San Pedro said in an interview.
The city has begun implementing the measure among its 6,000 employees, directing them to bring reusable containers and asking storeowners to place the take-out food in these containers.
By extension, the city government also urged its employees to bring mugs and glasses to hold take-out beverages.
Employees who violate the directive are subject to administrative sanctions, San Pedro said.
“Meanwhile, we have sent our people to canteens and restaurants with the message for them to provide reusable containers for their customers who want to take out food from their establishments,” San Pedro said.
He noted that the city government chose to implement the measure on the government employees first so that they can become role models for Muntinlupa residents.
“By July, we hope we can come up with the proper decree so this could be formally applied to the public,” San Pedro said.
In 2010, Muntinlupa became the first local government at least in Metro Manila to ban plastic bags as packaging for goods bought in commercial establishments. The ban was legislated in an ordinance, which also prohibited the use of polystyrene containers and the sale of plastic bags.
San Pedro said the plastic ban has led to lesser flooding in the city and significantly reduced plastic garbage collected from houses and commercial establishments in the city. /Inquirer