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Makati City to start plastic bag ban next week

June 21, 2012 8:23am

Starting next week, Makati City will enforce a strict ban on the use of plastic bags and non-biodegradable materials such as Styrofoam (Polystyrene) as packaging materials.

The ban stemmed from a new executive order (EO) that provided guidelines on what packaging materials are covered and exempted from the ban.

“Through these policies, we aim to encourage the use of biodegradable and/or recyclable plastic bags among business establishments and consumers alike,” Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. said on the city's web portal.

Under the EO, business establishments 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.

Also prohibited is the sale, use or distribution of Styrofoam (Polystyrene) and other materials with non-biodegradable components used as containers for food, drinks, dining utensils and beverages.

Management will have the option 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.

Covered establishments are also required to place a clearly marked “Plastic Bag Recovery Bin” at entrances and exits that are visible and accessible, to collect, recycle and dispose of plastic bags.

Barangay halls are likewise required to have the same clearly-marked recovery bins that will serve as drop-off points to collect plastic bags from barangay residents.

The city government will coordinate with reputable recyclers/organized junk-shop operators for the proper collection, transportation, recycling and disposal of plastic bags dropped in the bins.


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 canceled.

The city government has given all covered establishments one year from the effectivity of the EO to dispose of all remaining stocks of plastic bags and Styrofoam (Polysterene) and other similar materials.

Business establishments will be required to quarterly and regularly declare their stock inventory of said materials to the PMTF through the Department of Environmental Services (DES).

Primary, secondary packaging materials

The new EO distinguishes between primary and secondary packaging materials and exempts some products from the plastic ban.

“To strengthen our citywide advocacy for the use of environment-friendly packaging, we have amended the guidelines previously issued to include a clear definition of primary and secondary packaging materials," Binay said. 

"We have also identified products packaged in plastic material that need to be exempted from the ban for the time being, since an acceptable alternative packaging is not yet available,” Binay said.

In the EO, 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.

Secondary packaging materials are used to provide support for wet goods with primary packaging, usually for the convenience of the handler or customer.

Products exempted from the order are plastic bottled products like bottled water, ice tea, cooking oil, alcohol, mayonnaise, jelly, peanut butter, and coco jam.

Also included in the exemption are 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.

“We appreciate the efforts of our residents and business establishments to support this advocacy, so we are giving them ample time to look for better and viable alternatives to the present packaging of these products,” Binay said.

The new EO also renamed the task force earlier created to head the program, from Anti-Plastic Task Force to Plastic Monitoring Task Force (PMTF).

It will have key city government offices and departments strictly enforce and monitor compliance with its provisions by all supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls/department stores, restaurants, fast food chains, convenience stores, canteens, eateries and similar establishments in Makati. — LBG, GMA News
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