February 23, 2024

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, La Trinidad, Benguet will strictly implement its Anti-plastic bag and Styrofoam Ordinance.

Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (Menro) Arthur Pedro said implementation of Ordinance 11-2015 shall be strictly monitored due to the rising use of plastic bags in the municipality.

“We encourage the public to use eco-bag or other reusable materials when purchasing goods or going to the market,” Pedro said.

Approved in 2015, the ordinance has not been strictly observed as market goers and traders are starting to again use plastic instead of the earlier initiative of using eco bags.

During the full implementation of the ordinance in 2018, the market stall owners at the 1993 and 2002 public market associations launched the “green initiative” where they stopped using plastic bags in their transactions.

Some big businesses also put up signages on the anti-plastic ordinance in their establishments and began using paper or biodegradable plastics or offer eco bags for a fee as alternative packaging.

But Pedro said the initiative slowly waned down through the years, thus the need to strictly implement the ordinance again. 

In the earlier fourth quarter clean-up drive initiated by the Menro, 152 sacks of garbage weighing 1,824 kilograms were collected at the Balili River. 

The ordinance regulates the use of plastic bags, polystyrene/Styrofoam and other synthetic packaging materials in the municipality and provides a penalty for violators.  

The ordinance also states that business establishments selling wet goods shall use plastic bags with no handle, holes or strings only as secondary packaging material as this is justified on the grounds of public hygiene. The primary packaging should still be bayong, eco bags, or other reusable bags. 

The wholesalers of vegetables are exempted from the usage of plastic bags on the ground of sanitation; however, they are encouraged to use biodegradable and reusable alternative bagging products.

Those who will violate the ordinance will be fined P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P2,500 on third offense and cancellation of business permit of the establishment upon discretion of the court. – Ofelia C. Empian