Magallanes, Sorsogon imposes plastic ban

MAGALLANES,Sorsogon--- The municipal government here will soon start cracking the whip on business establishments and individuals who would defy the ban on the use of plastics based on the local ordinance passed 10 years ago.

The local government has stepped up its campaign on non-biodegradables as it struggles with the rising volume of plastic wastes.

Mayor Augusto Manuel Ragragio in a meeting at the municipal hall said the sale and use of “sando bags” will be strictly prohibited as embodied in Municipal Ordinance No. 05-2009 which prohibits the use of plastic wrappers, plastic bags and Styrofoam.

Ragragio on Friday told the attendees composed mainly of business owners and barangay officials that they would start strict implementation of the ordinance by January especially on the sale of plastic bags which are widely used in the market, groceries and stores.

"Styrofoam and other plastic materials which are being used as food containers would also be banned especially in caterings and parties," he added.

Ragragio said they no longer allow caterers for local government activities to use single-use materials as part of the effort to significantly reduce non-biodegradable materials.

The mayor said these two kinds of plastic are the most common non-biodegradable materials that are gathered by garbage collectors and dumped at the municipal dump site.

Plastics may only be used on the sale of wet goods as well as primary packaging for sugar, flour, ice, fermented shrimp and the like.

Ragragio urged the public to instead use re-usable bags for their groceries and other goods while he directed the business owners to shift to the use of paper bags as alternative.

"The municipal government is preparing hundreds of re-usable bags made from rice sacks which will be distributed to the public during market day," he said.

He invited groups and organizations to produce bags out of recyclable materials as income generating project.

“Our dump site is already full to the brim and could no longer accommodate more garbage,” he lamented.

The local chief executive said they would not immediately impose fines on offenders as the implementation is still in its infancy but would issue warning letters.

No one among the attendees opposed the regulation instead all of them perceived the regulation as necessary and timely.

Based on Section 8 of the ordinance a fine of PHP500 will be imposed on first-time violators, PHP1,000 for repeat-offenders and PHP2,000 on third offense while suspension or revocation of business permit will be slapped on offending business establishments. (PNA)