Pasig restaurants switch from plastic to paper
It’s time to say goodbye to plastic containers in Pasig City.
Raquel Naciongayo, head of the city environment and natural resources office (Cenro), said Tuesday that 320 “quick service restaurants” (QSR) in Pasig, including fast food chains such as Jollibee and KFC, have started using paper bags for takeout.
Owners and managers of these establishments recently signed a pledge of commitment to the city government in which they agreed to follow regulations on the usage of plastic containers.
“At first, they did not want to cooperate. But they were convinced later when we offered voluntary compliance and gradual phaseout of plastics,” Naciongayo said in an interview.
The agreement was reached after several meetings and consultations, she added.
Some QSR owners have been using paper bags since July 1 and others followed suit only recently, Naciongayo said.
In the case of Jollibee outlets in the city, the shift from plastic to paper bags was met with mixed reactions.
A branch manager who refused to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media said most of their customers were in favor of the change.
“Some would even bring their own used plastic bags. Others, however, complain especially when it’s raining heavily,” he said.
“It’s not a problem for me [because they] say it’s okay for the environment,” Vanessa Iborac, a Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig student, said.
She noted, however, that it was a little inconvenient since paper bags have no handles.
Apart from ditching plastic bags, Jollibee and other fast-food chains have also designated Fridays as “straw-less” days.
On that day, customers will not get a disposable plastic straw for their drinks.
An ordinance approved by the city council on June 17 last year explicitly bans “any form of plastic bags” for dry goods and regulates the use of plastic bags for wet goods.
It also prohibited the use of styrofoam as food containers.
The city government and Cenro, however, are giving the business sector and consumers at least two years to adapt to the city ordinance.
“Unlike in other cities, we are implementing [the] plastic ban step by step until city residents and businesses understand why we have to do this,” Naciongayo said.
Naciongayo added that fines and the revocation of their business license await firms that violate the ordinance.
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