The City of Parañaque is joining other local government units in Metro Manila in phasing out single-use plastics.
Beginning next month, the city government will impose a policy against the use of single-use plastics in all commercial establishments in the city.
Ordinance No. 18-40 regulating the use, provision and sale of Styrofoam, plastic bags and plastic for prepared food and beverage containers was supposed to be enforced in June this year but was cancelled due to coronavirus disease outbreak.
“This means that starting early next year, the city will no longer allow stores and restaurants to use plastic bags, and disposable straws and cutlery,” said Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
Not only is Styrofoam bad for the environment, but it may also cause harm to humans and animals.
Polystyrene Styrofoam containers are usually used for drinks and food. It is a petroleum-based plastic with insulation properties.
Manufacturing Styrofoam pollutes the air and creates large amounts of solid and liquid waste. In 1986, it was reported to be the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste, according to a US Environmental Protection Agency report.
As early as 2011, the city council has already prohibited the use of plastic bags on dry goods and Styrofoam on food items, according to the city councilors.
However, city councilors amended the ordinance after experiencing terrible flash floods in the city during rainy seasons due to disposed plastic bags and other non-biodegradable containers clogging the canals, creeks, rivers, and other waterways.
Under the ordinance, the ban also plastic spoons and forks, cups, and stirrers as well as polystyrene plates, cups, bowls and serving trays.
Only manufacturers in the city will be allowed to use such plastics for packaging, but supermarkets and public market vendors will be asked to use biodegradable plastic.
“Paranaque will be plastic-free city by January,” said Olivarez, explaining that under the approved local law, violators will be fined P5,000 for every offense while on the third offense, violators will be shut down and their business license revoked for one year.
Other cities in the National Capital Region like Makati, Quezon City, Taguig, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, and Pasay have already said no to plastic.
A study showed that the Philippines is one of the top producers of plastic waste in the world.