PHILIPPINES - To stop the accumulation of plastic garbage and reduce negative environmental impact, the Sablan municipality has proposed a new legislation: “The Anti-Plastic Ordinance of 2011 of the Municipality of Sablan.”
The Ordinance 12-01 will require all businesses within the municipality to minimize the use of plastic bags and cellophane, styrofoam for wrapping, covering, packaging or bagging of goods.
With the approval of the proposed ordinance, consumers will have to bring their own bags when shopping. For wet goods like fish or meat, only paper bags/pouches, or other biodegradable materials can be used.
At the same time, the law will encourage the use of alternative more eco-friendly packaging materials such as the traditional bayong or woven native bag, native basket, cloth bags (katsa), paper bags/pouches, non-plastic sacks, sturdy reusable shopping bags and biodegradable bags such as those made from banana leaves, buri or other native materials.
The Sablan municipality, located in the Benguet province, said it will mandate the local production of eco-friendly packaging or bagging materials, and help with the establishment of production centres that will also help create employment.
First-time offenders will be fined Php500 (US$11.90) or four hours of community service, Php1,000 (US$23.90) or six hours of service for second offenders, and an additional Php500 (US$11.90) or 8 hours of service and/or imprisonment of not more than two months at the discretion of the court for repeat offenders.
The Ordinance is now before the Provincial Board for approval.