PHILIPPINES - Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria recently signed a legislation that will regulate the use of plastic and styrofoam packaging in all public markets, groceries and restaurants in the city.
Mayor Sagarbarria’s signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations brings the Plastic Ordinance – first approved on 10 August 2011 by the city council – into full effect in Dumaguete, the capital city and main port of Negros Oriental, the province that occupies the south-eastern half of Negros Island, in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines.
The Ordinance is part of the city’s effort to solve the ecological imbalance in their waterways, sewage, creeks and canals.
The mayor said that this ordinance will reduce the volume of plastic waste that clogs their canals and results in flooding even with moderate rain.
According to City Administrator William Abong, the city will inform the public and educate them prior to the implementation of the said ordinance.
The legislation promotes the use of alternative packaging such as native bags made of abaca and pandan leaves. Other reusable and biodegradable packaging are also encouraged, for example those made of recycled tetra pack juices that are stitched into grocery bags.
In addition, restaurants are prohibited to use styrofoam for take-out foods, pushing them instead towards the use of cardboard and other recyclable materials for their deliveries.