July 14, 2024

The use of single-use plastic items has been prohibited within the premises of Baguio City Hall and other city government offices outside city hall beginning Aug. 25.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued Memorandum 66, s. 2023 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 read.

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.

City government caterers and office visitors hiring caterers for events or meetings shall prioritize sustainable practices in their food packaging by using recyclable or biodegradable materials.

Exception is considered for plastics exclusively used for primary packaging such as for sugar, condiments and the like, only if there are no alternative materials that can possibly be used.

The memorandum was issued in an effort to promote environment-friendly workplace and sustainable consumption practices by reducing the volume of single-use plastic items that goes to landfills and therefore decrease greenhouse emissions associated with their production.

In 2017, Ordinance 35 regulating the sale, distribution, and use of plastic carry/shopping bags and Styrofoam in Baguio was passed.

It prohibits business establishments to provide to any customer any plastic bag or polystyrene foam container for goods or items purchased or serve food or drink, take out or dine in, to customers in polystyrene containers or in plastic bags.

The same ordinance mandates all city government schools and offices to maintain a “No Plastic Bag, No Styrofoam” policy in their office or school premises including government sponsored events and functions. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan