First to ban plastics in NCR, Muntinlupa City takes campaign further

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After banning plastic bags and Styrofoam containers for most goods bought in commercial establishments, the Muntinlupa City government is now encouraging residents to use reusable containers when buying takeout food.

City administrator Byron San Pedro said the measure stemmed from observations that canteens and other small-scale food vendors in the city were still using plastic bags for meals to go.

“Our antiplastic policy only allows the use of plastic bags as packaging for wet goods, but canteens and karinderyas (eateries) have continued to use them for takeout food,” San Pedro noted in an Inquirer interview.

The city has begun implementing the measure on the local government’s 6,000 employees by ordering them to bring reusable containers, including mugs and glasses, for the food and beverages they will buy.

Violators face administrative sanctions, San Pedro said. “Meanwhile, we have sent our people to canteens and restaurants to provide reusable containers for their customers.”

He said the city government decided to impose the measure first on its employees so they could serve as an example for other Muntinlupa residents.

“By July, we hope we can come up with the proper decree so this could be formally applied to the general public,” San Pedro said.

In 2010, Muntinlupa became the first local government in the National Capital Region to ban plastic bags and Styrofoam in shops.

Last week, Makati City announced a similar ban that would take full effect in January next year. It allowed commercial outlets to use up their remaining stock of nonbiodedgradeable packaging materials until December.

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