June 17, 2024

Responsible citizenship through community involvement is being reiterated in the revitalized campaign of the city government against single-use plastic.

The call for the public to shun away from single-use plastic was made by Mayor Benjamin Magalong after a series of cleanup drives in the city yielding sacks of plastic containers and sachet wrappers.

Plastics blocking waterways resulting in floods is also a perennial problem in the city especially during sudden thunderstorms.

The mayor issued Memorandum 66 last year prohibiting the use of single-use plastic items within the premises of Baguio City Hall and other city government offices outside City Hall in consonance with Ordinance 35-2017 regulating the sale, distribution, and use of plastic carry/shopping bags and Styrofoam in Baguio.

In his memorandum, the mayor ordered use of single-use plastic shall be prohibited for city government employees and service providers such as canteen and store concessionaires as well as food caterers including office visitors to comply with his order.

Single-use plastic “items include, but are not limited to plastic cups/bottles, disposable cutlery and plates/food containers/meal boxes, plastic straws, plastic stirrers, Styrofoam containers, plastic sauce containers and any other forms of single-use plastic,” the memorandum stated.

Alternate, eco-friendly options such as reusable or washable bottles/plates/food containers/cups, utensils, biodegradable or compostable packing, and other sustainable alternatives shall be used in place of single-use plastic items.

The mayor also called for market goers to bring with them reusable bags when going to the public market as well as bring reusable containers if they intend to buy wet products such as fish, meat, and pork.

“This action aims to protect our environment and health, conserve resources, reduce plastic pollution, and set a positive example for our economy,” the mayor said.

Based on the ordinance, violators will be reprimanded or establishments without business permit on first offense will be immediately closed; P1,000 fine on second offense; P3,000 fine and eight hours community service on third offense; P5,000 fine and suspension of business permit for six months on fourth offense; and, non-renewal of business permit or closure of business for the habitual offender. – Jessa Mardy Samidan