PHILIPPINES - Two major cities in the Philippines, Quezon City and Las Piñas, have passed a resolution banning the use of plastic bags, intensifying efforts of their zero-waste clean up drive.
Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel Aguilar said that the city government will deploy “anti-plastic police” to strictly implement the city ordinance, which prohibits the use of styrofoam and plastic materials in packaging and handling products and foods in all establishments found in the city.
Urging his constituents to use reusable bags when shopping, Agular stressed his concern for the environment and said that cleanliness and environmental protection were among his top agenda: “We must take definite steps now starting with a no-plastic policy in markets, retail stores and in households to minimize non-biodegradable wastes in order to save and protect the environment,” the mayor said.
In Quezon City, First District Councilor Dorothy Delarmente said that the city has already approved the ban that prohibits the use of plastic shopping bags.
Signage in all major establishments and shopping centers will be erected, reminding people to “Save the Environment, bring your own recyclable/reusable bags”.
According to the Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS), 1,887,600 kg (8,988 cubic meters) of solid waste are collected in the city everyday, 39% of which is non-biodegradable and 48% biodegradable. Polyethylene byproducts make up 16% of the non-biodegradable materials that are collected everyday.
Delarmente said that the ordinance is one of the best ways to minimize the use of plastic materials that damages the environment. She also noted that the indiscriminate throwing of non-biodegradable plastic bags in waterways and drainages have caused floods in some areas of Quezon City.
“This must be stopped by requiring business establishments to urge customers not to use non-biodegradable polyethylene bags,’’ Councilor Delarmente said.
Under the new ban, all village officials and law enforcers of the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) are deputized to catch offenders.