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Proposed Ordinance – Prohibiting the use of plastic bags …

PROPOSED ORDINANCE

An ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic bags on dry goods and regulating its utilization on wet goods and prohibiting the use of styrofoam within the city of naga and prescribing penalties thereof:

Sponsor: Hon Maria Elizabeth Q. Lavadia
Co- Sponsor: Hon. David Casper Nathan A. Sergio, Hon. Ray-An Cydrick G. Rentoy, Hon. Salvador M. Del Castillo and Hon. Jose A. Tuason

EXPLANATORY NOTE

Since its invention sometime in 1862 by Alexander Parkes, plastics, particularly plastic bags, are considered to be a revolutionary product. Undoubtedly, plastic bags became a low-cost, convenient and sanitary means to package food and other products. The use of “bayong” and jute- fiber sacks has long been outmoded by sando bags and plastic fiber sacks, respectively. Needless to say, plastic has become a universal packaging material. In fact the global production of plastic materials has reached 200 billion pounds per year.

However, everything has its own pro’s and con’s. By their very nature, plastic packaging materials almost always find their way to trash bins, becoming a major part of the waste stream of human settlements. On a global side, plastic materials make up 16% of the dumps in the world. In Naga City, these plastic bags make up a part of what is considered the residuals or those that cannot be recycled into new materials or processed into compost.

The common knowledge and acceptance of the fact that plastic bags have negative impact on the environment is enough for us to think of ways on how to minimize better yet eradicate the use of environmental hazard. It’s time to follow suit with other environment-friendly NGO’s and LGU’s in the advocacy efforts to reduce the use of plastic materials.

WHEREAS, Article II, Sec. 6 of the Philippine Constitution provides that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature;

WHEREAS, Sec. 3 (i) of RA 7160 provides that the Local Government Units shall share with the national government the responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological balance within their territorial jurisdiction;

WHEREAS, Sec. 458 (vi) of RA 7160 also empowers the Sangguniang bayan / Panlungsod to protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment including such activities which results in pollution acceleration or eutrophication of rivers and lakes or of ecological imbalance;

WHEREAS, Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 provides for the identification and listing of Non- Environmentally Acceptable Products (NEAP) and packaging material. The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has adopted and issued guidelines for NEAP and has identified plastic packaging as one of only 5 product groupings that shall undergo assessment;

WHEREAS, plastic bags are rampantly used as packaging materials in the City of Naga and elsewhere;

WHEREAS, plastic bags and Styrofoam, being non-biodegradable materials clog our canals, creeks, rivers and other waterways, and during rainy season end up in Naga river causing harm to the river and the surrounding barangays;

WHEREAS, DESPITE SERIOUS EFFORTS OF THE City to segregate compostable, recyclable and reusable waste materials, plastics and other similar materials remain in the waste stream and eventually become residuals;

WHEREAS, the City is spending a considerable amount of money for operational and maintenance expenses on waste disposal;

WHEREAS, the City of Naga in its desire to reduce if not totally eliminate the use of plastic film bags as packaging materials, encourages the utilization of alternative packaging materials such as woven bags (bayong), cloth bags (katsa), paper bags and other similar materials (e.g. banana leaves, taro leaves, etc.) and at the same time enjoined to promote the “Bring Your Own Bag”;

WHEREAS, there is now a need to regulate the use of plastic bags to prevent potential serious ecological imbalance particularly in the City’s creeks, rivers and other waterways;

SECTION 1.Title. This ordinance shall be known as “An ordinance Prohibiting the Use of Plastic Bags on Dry Goods & Regulating its Utilization on Wet Goods and Prohibiting the use of Styrofoam in the City of Naga and prescribing penalties thereof.”

SECTION 2. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this ordinance, the following terms are defined to wit:

a) “Cloth Bag” (Katsa) – refers to a reusable packaging material made of cloth (biodegradable) used in the packaging of flour, wheat and other similar goods.

b) “Dry Goods” – refers to any product that do not require refrigeration or freezing to maintain, such as textiles, clothing, medicines.

c) “Dry Market” – generally refers to the store of products that do not require refrigeration or freezing to maintain.

d) “Plastic Bags” – also known as sando bags, pouch, plastic shopping bags and plastic film bags. It is a type of flexible packaging material made of thin, plastic film that is used for containing and transporting goods and other products. It shall also refer to thin-gauge packaging medium that is used as bags or wraps.

e) “Styrofoam” – refers to a kind of packaging material used as food containers, disposable cups, plates, etc.

f) “Plastic Wastes” – refers to any plastic packaging material thrown as waste.

g) “Primary Packaging Material” – refers to those types of packaging for containing wet produce, snack foods, frozen foods, hardware, etc.

h) ”Secondary Packaging Materials” – refers to those types of packaging materials for wet goods to provide support to any primary packaging and intended for convenience of the handler as well.

i) “Wet Goods” – refers to any product that requires refrigeration or freezing to maintain such as fish, meat, fresh poultry products, fruits, vegetables, beverages and cooked foods in carinderias / eateries.

j) “Wet Market” – generally refers to the store of products that requires refrigeration or freezing to maintain. These include the wet section in public markets, supermarkets, mini marts, restaurants and carinderias / eateries.

k) “Woven Bags” (a.k.a Bayong) – refers to biodegradable packaging material made of woven pandan or buri leaves and other similar materials.

SECTION 3. Prohibition on the Use of Plastic Bags on Dry goods. No business establishment shall utilize plastic bags as packaging material on dry goods.

SECTION 4. – Regulating the Use of Plastic Bags on Wet goods. Business establishments dealing on wet goods shall use plastic bags as primary packaging material.

SECTION 5. – Prohibition on the Use of Styrofoam. No business establishment shall use Styrofoam and other similar materials as containers for food, produce and other products.

SECTION 6. – Prohibition on the Selling of Plastic Bags. No business establishments shall offer or sell plastic bags to be used as secondary packaging material or as primary packaging material on dry goods.

SECTION 7. – Plastic Wastes not to be collected. Plastic bags discarded or other similar plastic waste materials will not be included in the collection of non-biodegradable wastes. These materials must be cleaned and dried prior to submission to their respective barangays for proper disposal.

SECTION 8. – Monitoring of Ordinance. The City Environment & Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) shall monitor the effective implementation of this ordinance. The CENRO shall prepare a semi-annual report on the progress of the implementation of this Ordinance.

SECTION 9. – Information Education and Communication Campaign. Upon approval of this Ordinance, the City shall conduct massive information education and communication campaigns using quad media (print, radio, television and internet) and shall also include the promotion of alternative biodegradable packaging materials.

SECTION 10. – Implementing Rules and Regulations. Within 30 days from the approval of this Ordinance, the necessary rules and regulations shall be issued by the Mayor for the proper and effective implementation of this Ordinance.

SECTION 11. – Prohibited Acts. Establishments and / or individuals are prohibited from:

(a)    Selling and providing plastic bags to customers as secondary packaging materials on wet goods;

(b)    Selling and providing plastic bags to customers as packaging material on dry goods;

(c)    Selling and providing Styrofoam as containers; and

(d)    Disposing plastic wastes.

SECTION 12. – Penalties. All establishments who violate any of the prohibited acts stated above shall be punished through the imposition of the following penalties:

First offense :    P1,000.00 fine

Second offense :    P2,000.00 fine

Third offense : P5,000.00 fine and or   imprisonment of more than 6 months upon the discretion of the court and in the case of business establishments, cancellation of their license to operate for a period of one (1) year.

SECTION 13. – Separability Clause. If any part of this ordinance is declared as unconstitutional or unlawful, such declaration shall not affect the other parts or sections hereof that are not declared unlawful or unconstitutional.

SECTION 14. – Repealing Clause. All previous ordinances inconsistent with this Ordinance shall be deemed repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 15. – Effectivity. This Ordinance shall take effect upon its approval from the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

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6 Responses to Proposed Ordinance – Prohibiting the use of plastic bags …

  1. Mel Mabeza says:

    Dear Ma’am,

    You can’t escape the world of plastic. Are we going to use paper from trees, where you used water, etc.?
    Plastic will be with us forever. What we need is proper disposal of plastic.
    However, what you should propose is the the use of bio-degradable plastic.
    Huli ka po sa panahon. There are plastic which are biodegradable.
    Some plastics now are combined with corn ingredients.
    Balik ba tayo sa panahon na nakabalot sa diaryo ang isda or karne?
    Kaplastikan na yan Ma’am.

    Be updated. Introduce the use of bio-degradable plastic items in Naga City.
    You create a new industry. Cutleries in fast foods are plastics, ipagbabawal mo? They are now component made of biodegradable.
    Isip ka ng ways how to dispose styrofoam or re-cycling, hindi yun ipagbabawal mo.
    That is simple late ka sa news or sumasakay ka lang sa uso.
    Be original. Bawal po magalit :)

  2. Taga Bulod says:

    When I was a kid 20 – 30 years ago bayong was a pre-requisite in my mother’s marketing subject :) but the advent of department stores and malls changes all that, and enterprising Pinoys came up with their own (incredibly) cheap version – the ultra thin sando bags. Since we never really look far ahead and patronize (even revere) for what is convenient to us – one example in-thing now are mobile devices, how fast they morph equate to how fast our dumps accumulate.

    For manufacturers with zero conscience everything is business, we were never told then that plastic takes 1,000 years to disintegrate!

    Is there a solution to the plastic problem? It has become a part of everything we do and need. Would RECYCLING really be enough? Least we’re trying. Are we DISCIPLINE enough? Or let the next generation fix this problem? What INCENTIVE does the government willing to exhaust in making malls and shoppers compliant with the ordinance? Or how CONSISTENT are they in implementing it including fines and penalties?

    We can never ban plastic, the more appropriate approach is a STAND to reduce it. Are (we) Nagueños up to it?

  3. Gerald says:

    its all been discussed at the public hearing last February 17, and all the comments including the biodegradable plastics and the alternative materials are being acted upon in the revision of the propose ordinance. You should also come for the 2nd round of public hearing. when?call the city hall..

  4. Juan Carlos R. Madrid says:

    It is a very good ordinance because plastic is prohibited and people can go back to the old days and the old living. Long Live Naga City!

    Truly Naga can SMILE to the World without Plastic :)

  5. Karl Llorin says:

    Go Naga! No to Plastic!

  6. Zarah says:

    I think this is a great ordinance. Bio-degradable and recyclable plastic is one thing, but they are plastic nevertheless. It stays forever. We cannot 100% prohibit individuals from using plastic but we can certainly prohibit establishments from using it. I am a big proponent of the “re-use, reduce and recycle” and I can personally attest that it inevitable to use plastic. It is everywhere. Here in the US, organic, pro-environment establishments such as Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s started using only paper bags years back. Individual patrons of these grocery stores were subconsciously influenced by this change. It is a really good start. It is just a matter of educating the people through various media about the benefits of doing so and providing alternative that is convenient for the users. Good luck and I hope this ordinance succeeds.