The city government of Parañaque reiterated its call to residents and business establishments to be aware of a local ordinance regulating the use of styrofoam packaging and single-use plastics.
Ordinance 18-40 Series of 2018 regulates the use, provision, and sale of styrofoam, plastic bags, and plastic for prepared food and beverage containers including plastic straws and stirrers in the City of Parañaque.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez said inspectors and enforcers will visit establishments in the city to promote awareness and monitor compliance on plastic regulation and enforce the ordinance.
“This is to ensure awareness and also to give ample time for the transition from plastics to reusable materials. The city is extending this massive IEC Campaign until June 2021 to adhere to the ordinance,” he said.
Olivarez said the strict implementation of the local policy will be “enforced this June with fines accompanied with every offense committed as stated on the ordinance.”
He reminded his constituents that biodegradable plastic is only allowed if there is a certification from the Department of Science and Technology and the National Solid Waste Management Commission, which proves that the materials are biodegradable and compostable.
Olivarez said the policy was supposed to be enforced in June last year but was cancelled due to coronavirus disease outbreak.
“This year, the city will no longer allow stores and restaurants to use plastic bags, and disposable straws and cutlery,” he said.
Not only is styrofoam bad for the environment, 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.
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.