More Makati shops comply with plastic ban
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2014 - 2:34pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Makati City government on Tuesday reported that compliance by business establishments in the city to the Plastic Regulation Program – which bans the use of plastic packaging - as mandated by the city’s Solid Waste Management Code is now at between 90  and 92 percent.

Of the 4,519 establishments in the city inspected by the Plastic Monitoring Task Force (PMTF) from January to March of this year, 366 or around eight percent were found to have violated the code.

Department of Environmental Services (DES) chief Danilo Villas said the first quarter compliance rating of 92 percent is even higher compared to a 90 percent compliance rate achieved in the first six months of the citywide plastic ban.

From June to December last year, PMTF teams inspected 6,373 establishments throughout the city.  Of these, there were 649 violators mostly food establishments and retail outlets.

Villas said the monitoring teams, composed of personnel from the Makati Action Center and DES Solid Waste Management Division, would continue to inspect establishments to ensure their compliance with the regulation.

To further promote the advocacy for a ‘plastic-free Makati’, the DES and Liga have held a series of seminar-workshops to reorient barangay personnel on the provisions of the city’s Solid Waste Management Code (City Ordinance No. 2003-095) and the Plastic Regulation Program (Executive Order No. 007 s. 2012).  Participants included some 156 environmental police recently deputized by the city government last April to enforce environmental laws at the grassroots level.

Under the ordinance, individual violators face a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment ranging from five to 30 days while firms or establishments will be fined P5,000. Their owners may also be jailed for a month up to a year.

In 2012, Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay issued EO 007 to amend the initial EO issued in December 29, 2011, extending the prescribed transition period to shift to environment-friendly packaging materials that was supposed to expire last December 31, 2012.  The EO also made a specific distinction between “primary” and “secondary” packaging materials, including the exemption of certain products from the plastic ban.

Primary packaging materials are defined as “first level product packaging that contain 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. 

The management of establishments has the option 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.

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.

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.  

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