Plastic ban in Makati begins June 20

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Monday reminded the city's over 17,500 retail and food establishments  that effective June 20, the city government will fully implement the ban on the use of plastic, Styrofoam and other non-biodegradable materials as packaging for food and other products.

Binay said the ban on the use of plastic packaging is mandated by the Solid Waste Management Code of Makati which was enacted in 2003 through Ordinance No. 2003-095.

Binay said the nine-year grace period for compliance to the Code’s provision on “Use of Environment-Friendly Materials” ended last December 31, 2012 but was extended through Executive Order (EO) No. 007 series of 2012 to give establishments ample time to deplete their inventories and replace these with environment-friendly materials by June 20 of this year.

“I believe we have given the concerned establishments enough time to prepare for the full implementation of the plastic ban on June 20.  Our deputized enforcers and members of the Plastic Monitoring Task Force are all set to conduct inspections and impose appropriate sanctions on violators of the ban,” Binay said.

Binay also urged business owners to submit a report on their inventory on plastic, Styrofoam (polysterene) and other non-biodegradable materials to the Plastic Monitoring Task Force (PMTF) at the 7th floor of the Makati City Hall Building II from June 3 to 7 to avoid being penalized for non-compliance.

“The PMTF has informed me that to date, no establishment has submitted a stock inventory report on non-biodegradable materials, including single-use and carry-out plastic bags, which they are required to do quarterly,” Binay said.

Under the ordinance, individual violators will be fined P1,000 or imprisoned for five days to 30 days, or both at the discretion of the court. An errant corporation or establishment will be fined P5,000 or the owner may be imprisoned from 30 days to a year, or both at the court’s discretion.  If warranted, the business permit or license may also be cancelled.

The PMTF has been designated to monitor the compliance of all supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls/department stores, restaurants, fast food chains, convenience stores, canteens, eateries and similar establishments to the ordinance. 

Under the Code’s section on the “Use of Environment-Friendly Materials,” these establishments are prohibited from selling, using or distributing plastic bags for use as primary or secondary packaging on dry goods, or as secondary packaging for wet goods. 

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.

Once the ban finally takes effect this June 20, the management will be required to provide, for free or for a fee, paper bags, cloth bags, basket/woven bags made from biodegradable packaging materials, woven native bags and other similar materials in lieu of plastic shopping bags.

Moreover, the EO issued last June 2012 makes specific distinction between “primary” and “secondary” packaging materials and exempts certain products from the plastic ban.

Primary packaging materials are defined as “first level product packaging that contains the item sold,” which are used for wet produce, snack foods, frozen foods, and hardware, among others.  On the other hand, secondary packaging materials are “those used to provide support for wet goods with primary packaging,” usually for the convenience of the handler or customer. 

Among the products exempted from the order are plastic bottled products like bottled water, ice tea, cooking oil, alcohol, mayonnaise, jelly, peanut butter, coco jam, and the like.  Also included in the exemption are plastic sachet products like shampoo and conditioner, soap/detergent, noodles; cosmetics; cigarette case; plastic bags used as primary packaging on wet goods with thickness of 15 microns above, and other similar products.

Data from the city’s Business Permits Office show a total of 13,173 retail establishments, 3,686 food outlets, and 664 carinderias doing business in the city.

Meanwhile, all covered establishments are also required to place a clearly marked “Plastic Bag Recovery Bin” at entrances and exits that are visible and accessible, for the purpose of collecting, recycling and disposal of plastic bags.

Barangay Halls are likewise required to have the same clearly marked recovery bins that will serve as drop-off points to collect plastic bags from barangay residents. DES will coordinate with reputable recyclers or organized junkshop operators for the proper collection, transportation, recycling and disposal of plastic bags dropped in the bins. - Mike Frialde 










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