MANILA, Philippines — Malabon City is expected to say goodbye to plastic bags and Styrofoam packs later in 2013, when an ordinance banning their use as packaging for most products takes effect.
For its first ordinance this year, the Malabon City Council enacted ordinance 01-2013 which regulates the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam for product packaging.
The ordinance prohibits business establishments from using plastic bags for dry goods and Styrofoam containers for food.
Plastic can still be used to package wet goods but only for the primary packaging. Secondary packaging, which could be used to provide support for the primary packaging, should not be made of plastic.
The ordinance also prohibits improper disposal of plastic waste, mandating instead that plastic packaging used for wet materials be rinsed and dried properly before being submitted to material recycling facilities set up in each of the city’s barangays.
The ordinance gives a six-month grace period for business establishments to properly comply with the ordinance, during which the Malabon City Environment and Natural Office will not penalize violators. However, businesses are required to adhere to “Plastic-Free Days” every Friday or face penalties.
First-time offenders face a P1,000 fine, a warning and compulsory attendance in a seminar, up to a P5,000 fine and cancellation of their license to operate for one year on the third offense.
Individuals found violating the ordinance will face penalties ranging from a fine of P500 to P1,500, community service and a lecture, depending on the number of offenses made.
The council said it enacted the ordinance as it observed that despite serious efforts to segregate waste materials, plastics still ended up clogging the city’s waterways, leading to flooding.