PHILIPPINES – The Makati City government has been sending out inspection teams to business establishments to ensure they are complying with regulations to gradually reduce the number of plastic and Styrofoam containers in their inventory, as the city prepares for a full ban on these types of packaging in June 2013.
According to Makati City government spokesperson Joey Salgado, teams from the city’s Department of Environmental Sciences (DES) started visiting businesses on New Year’s Day to check on their container and packaging inventory.
In January last year, the local government issued an ordinance that bans the use of plastic bags, styrofoam and other non-biodegradable packaging material for certain end use applications from January 2013, and switch to recyclable containers and packaging.
All supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls/department stores, restaurants, fast food chains, convenience stores, canteens, eateries and similar establishments in Makati are now “prohibited to sell, use or distribute plastic bags for use as primary or secondary packaging on dry goods, or as secondary packaging for wet goods.“
In addition, “The sale, use or distribution of styrofoam (polystyrene) and other materials with non-biodegradable Components that are being used as containers for food, drinks, dining utensils and beverages is also strictly prohibited.”
Businesses were given one year to clear their inventory, to ensure the efficient and effective phase-out of the banned materials from this month
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said business establishments would be required to quarterly and regularly declare their stock inventory of said materials to the Anti-Plastic Task Force (APTF) through the Department of Environmental Services (DES). The task force, with membership from DES, Law Department, Liga ng Barangay Office, Makati Action Center, Makati Health Department-Sanitary Inspector, Economic Enterprise Marketing Office, and Business Permit Office, will strictly monitor and recommend administrative sanctions to erring establishments.
All establishments types listed in the ordinance must place a “Plastic Bag Recovery Bin” that should be visible, accessible and clearly marked, for the purpose of collecting, recycling and disposal of plastic bags.
Moreover, each Barangay Hall will also be required to have a “Plastic Bag Recovery Bin” clearly marked which will serve as drop-off points to collect plastic bags from barangay residents. DES will coordinate with reputable recyclers/organized junkshop operators for the proper collection, transportation, recycling and disposal of plastic bags.
Once the ban finally takes effect in June 2013, businesses will be required to provide, for free or for a fee, paper bags, cloth bags, basket or woven bags made from biodegradable packaging materials, woven native bags and other similar materials in lieu of plastic shopping bags.
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