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Environmentalists back ban on plastic bags
Philippine Church groups have been in the thick of campaignThe sign reads: â€śPlastic is prohibited in Muntinlupa City, bring your own bagâ€ť (Photo courtesy of EcoWaste Coalition)
- ucanews.com staff, Manila
- January 17, 2011
The ban takes effect tomorrow despite a plea by plastic manufacturers to defer it, according to the environmentalist group EcoWaste Coalition.
Church and ecological groups have been in the thick of campaign against the use of plastic bags. They have launched a campaign throughout Metro Manila for the use of "bayong" (native biodegradable bag) to replace the plastic grocery bag and called for â€śno plastic bag daysâ€ť to wean the public away from them.
â€śThe Muntinlupa plastic ban offers a beacon of hope for our beleaguered environment,â€ť said EcoWaste president Roy Alvarez, a veteran actor.
The cityâ€™s Environmental Sanitation Center has put up posters, billboards and banners to inform the general public to comply with the ban.
It has also complemented the ban with a â€śBring Your Own Bagâ€ť campaign and supported the production of reusable bags made of cloth and indigenous materials as substitutes to plastic bags, which usually clog the metropolisâ€™ waterways and cause flashfloods.
City Ordinance 10-109 entitled â€śAn Ordinance Prohibiting the Use of Plastic Bags on Dry Goods, Regulating its Utilization on Wet Goods and Prohibiting the Use of Styrofoam/Styrophor in the City of Muntinlupaâ€ť will take effect on Jan. 18 after a year-long moratorium to give stakeholders time to adjust and conform.
Sonia Mendoza of the EcoWaste Coalitionâ€™s Task Force on Plastics said â€śthe first citywide plastic ban in Metro Manila has the potential of triggering a domino effectâ€ť among local government units who are similarly struggling to find sustainable solutions to persistent garbage and flooding woes.
Under the said ordinance, business establishments are prohibited from using, offering or selling plastic bags, pouches and shopping bags even for fish, meat and poultry.
Business establishments found violating the law face the risk of having their licenses cancelled for up to one year.
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