Sunday, January 23, 2011

Plastic-less shopping

Muntinlupa started implementing the environmentally-conscious city ordinance banning plastic bags last Tuesday, Jan. 18. Under the ordinance, businesses are prohibited from using plastic bags to pack materials. This follows a similar law in Los Banos, Laguna, which is experiencing unparalleled success. In LB, everyone complies with it—from the Ministop outside the UP campus to market vendors selling dry and wet goods.

In Muntinlupa, big establishments are quick to support the move. Shopwise (a Rustan's supermarket) and Savemore (an SM supermarket) in Festival Supermall have recalled all their plastic bags and are using paper bags and boxes instead. Shoppers can also avail of reusable shopping bags for a small price and even get perks, like doubling of points, on their loyalty rewards cards.

The public is still finding it quite difficult to adjust as paper bags don't have handles for easy toting. Some customers are complaining that it's making their grocery-shopping harder while others come prepared by bringing their own plastic bags.

Environment groups are lauding the city's efforts to minimize plastic waste. The EcoWaste Coalition has publicly appealed to Muntinlupa's businesses and citizens to actively support and comply with the ban. Meanwhile, plastic manufacturers are calling on the city government to reconsider the ordinance and scrap it as it “will threaten the jobs of its 175,000 workforce.” The city, on the other hand, stands by its decision to enact the ordinance.


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