The Muntinlupa City Council has enacted an ordinance banning and regulating the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam and styrophor materials in business establishments.
City Ordinance 10-109 was enacted by the council and approved by Mayor Aldrin San Pedro as a major measure to boost environmental protection in the city.
With the ordinance, Muntinlupa has joined cities around the world like San Francisco and Los Angeles in California that have banned the use of plastic bags.
The ordinance will take effect next year as business establishments are given one year as leeway so they have enough time to prepare for its implementation.
Mayor San Pedro said plastic bags and Styrofoam and styrophor materials are non-biodegradable and clog rivers, creeks and other waterways which in turn cause flooding. In the city, he said, these materials end up in Laguna de Bay.
“Plastic bags and styrofoam materials are major contributors to the clogging of waterways in Metro Manila. Through this ordinance, we want to encourage business owners and the public to protect the environment by not using these materials,” the mayor said..
The ordinance covers sando bags, pouch, plastic shopping bags and plastic film bags, and Styrofoam materials such as disposable food containers, cups, plates and the like.
Under the ordinance, the following will be implemented next year:
· Business establishments will be prohibited from using plastic bags as packing materials for dry goods
· Business establishments dealing with wet goods such as fish, poultry and meat will be prohibited from using plastic bags as primary packing materials.
· Business establishments are barred from using Styrofoam/styrophor and other similar materials as containers of food, produce and other products
· Business establishments will also prohibited from offering or selling plastic bags as secondary packing material or primary packing material for dry goods.
The mayor said the enactment of the ordinance aims to greatly reduce if not totally eliminate the use of plastic bags as packing materials.
It also encourages the public to use alternative materials such as bayong (woven bags), cloth bags (katsa), paper bags and other similar materials.
It also promotes the “Bring your own bag” mentality among residents.
Mayor San Pedro said the city government will conduct a massive information campaign to educate residents and business establishments on the use of alternative biodegradable packaging materials.
Dialogues will be conducted between the city government and business establishments for the smooth implementation of the ordinance.