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Parañaque small business owners wary of ban on single-use plastic

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:04 AM January 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — While big establishments are more than ready to comply with the soon-to-be-implemented ban on single-use plastic and styrofoam in Parañaque City, small business owners are less enthusiastic, saying it would add to their expenses.

Under City Ordinance No. 18-40, series of 2018 set to take effect in June, business establishments in the city, including malls and grocery stores, would be banned from selling and providing styrofoam and single-use plastic as packaging material for dry goods.

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Establishments serving food such as restaurants, hotels, fast-food chains and even food carts, would also be prohibited from providing customers with plastic products, including but not limited to cups, plates, bowls, straws and stirrers.

Violators of the ordinance face a P5,000 fine. A third violation, however, would also merit the cancelation of their business permit for a year.

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Jo, a stall owner in Baclaran for the past 40 years, was grateful that the local government would finally have its own plastic ban.

“We’re already too late, but this is very much appreciated. I hope this will reduce the amount of trash here in Baclaran and make the people here more disciplined,” she said.

She lamented how the streets around Baclaran Church would easily get flooded whenever it rained.

“And what’s the cause of this? Plastics! They just float everywhere,” she said.

Spending a little more for paper bags would just be “a small sacrifice for the greater good of protecting the environment,” Jo said.

However, eatery owners in Barangay San Antonio, where city hall is located, were shocked upon learning of the plastic ban.

One of them said they were not even consulted.

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“It’s as if city hall will be giving us the money so we can buy paper bags and boxes for our customers who will take out their food,” Nelia said.

“I don’t know what will happen come June. It’s another pain in the neck. The price of LPG just went up by P100 last week. If we raise our prices, customers may not buy from us. Our business will suffer,” she added.

In a statement sent to the Inquirer, SM Supermalls said its three malls in Parañaque — namely SM Sucat, SM BF Homes and SM Bicutan which house thousands of establishments—would comply with the ordinance.

“We have complied in all cities which have implemented the plastic ordinance and we will do the same for SM’s three malls in Parañaque,” it said.

Parañaque will be following the lead of Muntinlupa City, the first among Metro local governments to ban single-use plastic in 2011.

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