MANILA - Over 17,500 retail and food establishments in Makati are banned from using plastics, Styrofoam and other non-biodegradable packaging starting June 20.
There was actually a nine-year grace period for compliance of a provision in the Solid Waste Management Code of Makati, which was enacted in 2003. The grace period ended last December 31, but was extended via Executive Order No. 007-2012 to give establishments more time to deplete plastic inventories.
“I believe we have given the concerned establishments enough time to prepare for the full implementation of the plastic ban on June 20. Our deputized enforcers and members of the Plastic Monitoring Task Force are all set to conduct inspections and impose appropriate sanctions on violators of the ban,” Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said.
Under the ordinance, individual violators will be fined P1,000 or imprisoned for five days to 30 days, or both at the discretion of the court. An errant corporation or establishment will be fined P5,000 or the owner may be imprisoned from 30 days to a year, or both at the court’s discretion.
If warranted, the business permit or license may also be cancelled.
Beginning June 20, the establishment will be required to provide, for free or for a fee, paper bags, cloth bags, basket/woven bags made from biodegradable packaging materials, woven native bags and other similar materials in lieu of plastic shopping bags.
There are “primary” and “secondary” packaging materials that are, however, exempt from the ban.
Primary packaging materials are defined as “first level product packaging that contains the item sold,” which are used for wet produce, snack foods, frozen foods, and hardware, among others. On the other hand, secondary packaging materials are “those used to provide support for wet goods with primary packaging,” usually for the convenience of the handler or customer.
Among the products exempted from the order are: plastic bottled products like bottled water, ice tea, cooking oil, alcohol, mayonnaise, jelly, peanut butter, coco jam, and the like; plastic sachet products like shampoo and conditioner, soap/detergent, noodles; cosmetics; cigarette case; plastic bags used as primary packaging on wet goods with thickness of 15 microns above, and other similar products.
Binay also ordered business owners to submit inventories on their plastic, Styrofoam and other non-biodegradabale products to the Plastic Monitoring Task Force (PMTF).
“The PMTF has informed me that to date, no establishment has submitted a stock inventory report on non-biodegradable materials, including single-use and carry-out plastic bags, which they are required to do quarterly,” Binay said.
Data from the city’s Business Permits Office show a total of 13,173 retail establishments, 3,686 food outlets, and 664 carinderias doing business in the city.