Boracay reopening: Disposable plastic items banned
ILOILO CITY — Tourists going to Boracay Island when it reopens in October are being encouraged to bring nonplastic or reusable plastic items to comply with a municipal ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic items.
The municipal council of Malay in Aklan province, which included three villages of Boracay Island, recently passed Municipal Ordinance No. 386 banning single-use plastics in the entire town.
The ordinance, authored by Councilor Nenette Aguirre-Graf, bans the use of disposable plastic items by hotels, resorts and restaurants.
Establishments were encouraged to use nonplastic dispensers of shampoo and conditioner and liquid body soap among others.
Single-use plastics included nonreusable bottles, cups, bags, Styrofoam packs and sachets, disposable toothbrush, combs and eating utensils.
These items had been blamed for clogged drainage systems and polluted waters because these were nonbiodegradable.
Establishments violating the ordinance face a fine of P2,000 and a warning for the first offense, P2,500 and confiscation of single-use plastic items for the second offense and cancellation of business permit on the third offense.
The use of plastic bags by commercial establishments is already banned by Municipal Ordinance No. 320.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources had welcomed the ordinance to address the environmental problems of Boracay Island.
The island was closed to tourists starting on April 26 for a six-month rehabilitation.
“We commend the (local government unit) of Malay for heeding (Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu’s) call by coming up with such an ordinance,” said Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda in a statement.
Antiporda said the single-use plastic ban was “a major boost to government efforts to fight plastic pollution.”
President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the closure of Boracay to tourists after describing the resort island as a cesspool.
Prior to its closure, Boracay was the Philippines’ top tourist attraction, drawing up to a million visitors a year.
Thousands of workers lost their jobs as a result of the closure but the government distributed financial aid to replace income lost during the rehabilitation of the island.
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