The Quezon City government approved an ordinance that prohibited the use of throw-away plates, spoons, forks, and cups in hotels and restaurants , Mayor Joy Belmonte announced on Sunday.
In a joint press conference with environment group EcoWaste Coalition, Belmonte said that Ordinance No. 287 prohibited the distribution and use of single-use plastics including cutlery for dine-in purposes.
Hotels were also prohibited from distributing bar and liquid soaps, shampoos and conditioners, shower gels, and other items used for hygienic purposes in sachets and single-use containers.
“The local government of Quezon City is taking this action to prevent and reduce the generation of waste materials that are hardly recovered and recycled, and to promote sustainable practices, especially in the city’s thriving hotel and restaurant industry,” Belmonte explained.
Ordinance No. 287 was introduced by District I Councilor Dorothy Delarmente and co-introduced by 35 other councilors representing all the city’s six congressional districts.
“The enactment of this measure and its subsequent enforcement is essential amid the clamor against throw-away materials, both plastic and paper-based, which go straight to the bin after being used for just a few minutes,” Delarmente chimed.
A fine of P1,000 would be imposed on non-compliant establishments for the first offense.
For a second offense, violators not only faced a P3,000 fine but also revocation of their environmental clearances and the issuance of a cease and desist order.
Three-time violators faced a closure order, a revocation of their business permit, and a P5,000 fine.
The Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) and the Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) were mandated to ensure compliance of hotels and restaurants.
EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero commended the ordinance against plastic and paper disposables, calling it a step in the right direction.
“This action from the ground should encourage the speedy approval of a robust national legislation phasing out single-use plastics and other disposables to advance the consumption and production agenda in the country,” Lucero said.
Chairman of the Mother Earth Foundation Sonia Mendoza also welcomed the measure and encouraged other local government units to enact similar measures that would "address the proliferation of throw-away packaging such as single-use plastics, which constitute a main obstacle in community efforts to reach the Zero Waste goal.”
Belmonte expected a significant drop in the volume of plastic waste in the city once the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ordinance were promulgated. — Joviland Rita/DVM, GMA News