The Malay municipal government has passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of single-use or disposable plastic items by hotels, resorts, restaurants and establishments in the accommodation business.
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DENR backs ban on single-use plastics in Boracay
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is supporting the initiative of the local government of Malay, Aklan to ban disposable plastics in Boracay and the rest of the town.

The Malay municipal government has passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of single-use or disposable plastic items by hotels, resorts, restaurants and establishments in the accommodation business.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the ordinance is a welcome move on the part of Malay to augment government rehabilitation efforts in Boracay, which has been closed to tourists for six months until Oct. 26.

“Single-use plastics, particularly those used in packaging, have been identified as a contributing factor to Boracay’s mounting waste problem, not only on land but in surrounding waters,” Antiporda said.

He said the single-use plastic ban is a major boost to government efforts to fight plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, wildlife, waterways and oceans, and the environment.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu earlier said a ban on single-use plastics would help ease the garbage problem in the island and prevent further degradation of its environment.

“Malay can become a model not only for Aklan or the entire Panay Island, but also to other local government unit with ecotourism sites,” Antiporda said.

The ban covers disposable plastic products like toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, shaving razors, shower caps, sachets of shampoo or conditioner, liquid body soaps, combs, bottled water, straws, spoons, forks, knives, and sachets of coffee, sugar and creamer.

Establishments are encouraged to use eco-friendly alternatives such as reusable or refillable dispensers and metal utensils.

DENR said violators would be penalized with a fine of P2,000 for first offense, confiscation of single-use plastics and a fine of P2,500 for second offense, and cancellation of business permit to operate for third offense.

The latest ordinance complements an existing ordinance issued in 2012 prohibiting the use of plastic bags for dry goods, regulates its utilization on wet goods, and bans the use of styrofoam.

Last year, international environmental group Greenpeace ranked the Philippines as the “third-worst polluter of the world’s oceans” after China and Indonesia.

The Philippines got a similar ranking in terms of plastic trash in the 2015 report on plastic pollution released by Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business Environment.

According to the report, the country has become the world’s third largest source of plastic leaking into the ocean and has among the highest trash collection rates in Southeast Asia.

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAN
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