Makati, the Phillipines, has clarified that a plastic ban is set to take effect in June 2013, with the government monitoring various business establishments’ compliance with the required gradual cut down in their plastic and styrofoam stocks.
Makati government spokesperson Joey Salgado said the city’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) teams have begun visiting establishments to check on their inventory of containers and packaging.
At the beginning of January 2012, the government issued guidelines through an ordinance that requires establishments in the city to dispose their inventory of plastic and styrofoam containers within one year, and make the transition to recyclable containers and packaging.
Business establishments selling dry and wet goods can use biodegradable and / or recyclable plastic bags according to the guidelines, which cover all supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls / department stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, fast food chains, canteens, eateries and similar establishments in the city.
The management of such establishments may offer environment-friendly or eco-friendly bags including jute, fabric / cloth, paper bags and baskets / woven bags made from pandan, coconut tree or buri / buli leaves free of cost.
Under the guidelines, the distribution, sale and use of styrofoam (polysterene) and other materials with similar non-biodegradable components being used as food, drinks and beverages containers will be prohibited.
Plastic dining utensils being used at all restaurants, fast food chains, canteens, eateries and similar establishments will also be included in the ban.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said the dumping of plastics and styrofoam packaging will block the drainage and waterways of the city.
"This would greatly reduce the non-biodegradable materials and solid wastes that add up to the pollution of Makati City and clog our waterways that results to flooding in some areas in the city," Binay said.
The establishments are required to dispose all of their remaining stocks of non-biodegradable thin-film, single-use and carry-out plastic bags and styrofoam in one year, and are prohibited from selling, using or distributing plastic bags for use as primary or secondary packaging on dry goods or as secondary packaging for wet goods.
A visible, accessible and clearly marked plastic bag recovery bin should be in place to collect, recycle and dispose of plastic bags by all covered establishments.